Forecasting in agile Projects – Do you get your things done within time and budget?

Well, this sound like a question for classic approaches J. However, I often get asked how could we know in agile projects, or on product level if we get things done in time?
 
Agile projects are cool and simple, planning is sprint by sprint and team size defines monthly budget. However, if you’re a product owner you might be asked by your stakeholders and sponsors „what of the product backlog could be done until when“, „what does it cost“ and most difficult „are we still on track“?-As usually just sprints are under deep monitoring I’d like to share with you a very simple instrument, the product burn up chart.
Usually I paint this to a physical flip-chart, but I was curious if I could manage to create a simple monitoring tool?-This tool should keeping track over whole product lifecycle. As I’m a mac user I’ve done that with numbers, however you could download and convert it to excel if you like. Just to to download here:
2014-07-20_21-16-13
From my point of view most important things for a product owner to monitor towards his team are:
  1. Progress and Forcasting of Product Backlog implementation (Top Chart)
  2. Tracking continous Improvement of Team (Bottom left Chart, even if that’s in responsibility of SM I’d like to know about)
  3. Budget Burndown (Bottom right Chart)
agile-forecasting-chart
While creating these graphs I started to play around with some scenario’s and I found out that this is getting more and more complex. E.g. it might be interesting to monitor development of product backlog size as well. In my scenario the product would be implemented within 6 sprints and additional stories would be rarely added. However in corresponding data sheet I’ve added some notifications if it gets unrealistic to stay within time and budget. Furthermore over time the best/worst case forecasts are getting more and more accurate. In my example the team is performing very well, since sprint 4 near best case scenario.
agile-forecasting-sheet
My calculations might have still some bugs, so I do not guarantee nothing. I’m curious about your input about, may be we could develop it more and somebody creates a standard plugin for Atlassian Agile?
Please note: I pass any monitoring of outcome like end user feedbacks, increasing of revenue, etc. at this moment.

Mirko Kleiner is a Blogger, Agilist (Agile Evangelist), Vice President Delivery at youngculture AG, Twitterer, Father of 2 beautyful Sons and Partner of a lovely Wife.

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Veröffentlicht in field experience, scrum
One comment on “Forecasting in agile Projects – Do you get your things done within time and budget?
  1. Great article. You may want to view this video which describes creation of the prioritized product backlog: http://www.scrumstudy.com/watch.asp?vid=600 ; Also the free Scrum Body of Knowledge (SBOK Guide) provides additional information about forecasting in Agile and Scrum projects. Here is the link for the free download: http://www.scrumstudy.com/download-free-buy-SBOK.asp

    you may also consider posting in SCRUMstudy LinkedIn Group for futher discussions: https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=6718717

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Mirko Kleiner is a Blogger, Agilist (Agile Evangelist), Vice President Delivery at youngculture AG, Twitterer, Father of 2 beautyful Sons and Partner of a lovely Wife.

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