Yesterday’ Whether – How it Gives Better Predictability

How Yesterday’s Whether gives better idea to plan your future sprints

Today I am going to talk about Yesterday’ Whether. So, what is Yesterday’s Whether. Why we are talking about it in agile or scrum. It is a way to predict today’s whether based on yesterday’s whether. So, mostly 70% of the time, it would remain the same as it was yesterday. Same concepts applied in predicting team’s velocity for future sprint based on last 3 sprint’s average velocity.

For example, if team delivered 30 story points in 1st sprint, 40 story points in 2nd sprint and 50 story points in 3rd sprint, then team’s average velocity would be 40 story points. So based on this average velocity or in other words Yesterday’s Whether, we can predict that team would be able plan and deliver around 40 story points in upcoming sprint also.

Yesterday' Whether
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Though this looks straight forward, Yesterday’s Whether depends on some factors like –

Sprint Duration

Usually 2 weeks sprint duration is followed by most of the teams, but due to some reasons this duration is getting changed, then Yesterday’s Whether would not give the right picture. There would be a difference in sprint velocities, and we can take last 3 sprint velocity as an average.

Team Size

It is always recommended that team should stable for a long time and there should be any change in terms of team members working with the team. For example, if team is having 7 team members in one sprint and 5 in next sprint and again 8 or 9 in next sprint, there would be obviously a change in velocity. The velocity would vary for each sprint due team capacity. Hence, we will not have a stable velocity to take as average.

Inconsistent Flow of Work

This is an important factor which is usually not in team’s control. Usually when team or project is starting new and there are lot of unknowns which team is trying to figure out, in that case team’s velocity would vary sprint on sprint. This is a kind of initial phase for team where requirements are not coming in consistent flow. Team may have lot questions regarding requirements, they may be new to applications or technology.

So, this time would not be the right time to take Yesterday’s Whether as a reference to plan work for future sprint. Team should wait till they get settle and their velocity kind of start getting stabilize. It may take around 4-6 sprints, but that would be the right time to consider this method.

You can get Scrum Inc’s Yesterday’s Whether tool from here.