Typically, when you are shopping for a pickup truck you want to know it’s capacity in terms of the number of pounds you can carry in the box. Then once you have the truck and are loading material you will check periodically that the weight of the load does not exceed the capacity. So, we use load in a similar manor when we are planning the stories to be implemented during a sprint or iteration.
To prepare for iteration planning, a prioritized backlog of stories is created. One by one stories are taken off the top of the backlog. The stories are sized if not already done and placed in the iteration plan. The size of the stories is given in points. As a story is placed in the plan, the size of the story is added to the load. We stop adding stories to the plan when the load reaches the capacity for the iteration.
Capacity and load are for planning. Capacity is the maximum number of story points that can be planned for an iteration. Load is the number of story points planned for an iteration. Velocity is the number of points completed in an iteration. Capacity and Load are for a given iteration. Velocity is the average number of points completed over a number of iterations.
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