Velocity Definition


When we think of velocity we often relate to our automobile. When we drive we refer to the “speed”, another name for velocity, we are driving at any moment in time and compare it to the “speed limit”. If a pilot, we might measure air speed, ground speed, and wind speed. All of these are measures of progress over a period of time. If you have a newer vehicle and have the patience to push enough buttons, you will find a value for your average speed for some period of time. You will note that it is slower than the speed you drive on the highway but faster than the speed you drive in your neighborhood.

If you have a number of errands to run and the farthest is a certain distance away then you would have a feel for how much driving time you will need to complete the errands based on the average speed.

In product and product line development, we also measure progress over time and at different levels. The currently favored measure of progress is Points though other measures are used as well. We identify the progress or work we intend to do in an iteration and then measure how much of that work we completed in the iteration. This is our velocity in points per iteration. There are a lot of factors that would cause the Velocity to vary from iteration to iteration so we need to average the individual results into a rolling average over a year or so. In this way, we can use our Velocity average as a reliable predictor of future results.

Fortunately, there is no speed limit on the road for product and product line development.

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