Done-Done Completion Rate reveals interesting stories for agile teams

I wrote about the Done-Done Completion Rate a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I’ve plugged in some data from some of my teams, and revealed some interesting stories, which I would like to share today.

First, let’s look at Team 12.  They have a completion rate (points completed / points committed) that tends to vary between about 60% and 80% (light blue line).  It could be better, but 80% is not bad, considering you want to be reaching a little bit in each sprint.


However, Team 12 tends to leak quite a few bugs with each sprint.  They have produced estimates for many of these defects, and so, the team is aware that their backlog is growing almost as quickly as they burning it.  As far as they’re concerned, they have an effective completion rate ((points completed – points added) / points committed) that is lower (medium blue line).

There is, unfortunately, a hidden trap in the unestimated defects.  Allowing for these, and using an average number of points per defect, they even made negative progress for one sprint back in May.  The good news is that they appear to be improving, and since July, they appear to have kept their sprints much cleaner, and we can expect that they have a better handle on when they will complete their current milestone.

These unestimated defects can be the undoing of a team.  Consider for example, Team 7, which has a number of new members, and may still be forming.  About every third sprint, this team seems to fail to meet their commitments, and indeed lose substantial ground.  As a manager, it’s important to dig into the root cause for this.


Finally, here is a team that keeps their sprints very clean.  Through extensive automated testing, Team 5 allows almost no defects to escape development.  When they do, they estimate the defect right away.  Notice how their completion rate (light purple) is actually lower than Team 12 (blue above), but when we allow for defects, this team is completing more of their work.  The result is that this team can count on their velocity to predict their milestones, provided the scope doesn’t change.  Of the three teams, this one is most predictable.



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