Beyond Estimates: Forecasting with Little’s Law

location_city Virtual schedule Oct 15th 05:15 - 06:00 PM place Online people 47 Interested

Little’s Law has been used in queuing theory for over half a century. It is an elegant explanation of the relationship between average throughput, Work in Progress (WIP), and cycle time. In a stable environment it gives us a good understanding of the performance of the system which can used for forecasting.

But where are the story points and estimation? Certainly, size must matter. But does it? In this workshop we explore Little’s Law through theory and the experience of simulations. Each attendee will come away with a better understanding of Little’s Law and the core assumptions necessary for it to be applicable and useful in forecasting. Through the simulation you will experience why estimation of individual items is often not necessary in an environment where Little’s Law applies.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Workshop

  • Very short introduction to Little's Law. Start with a short video and explain the concepts
  • Get the audience to estimate a jar of jelly beans. This will be used later at the debrief.
  • The Simulation
    • Brief introduction to the simulation rules
    • Start the simulation. This involve the table turning over a card at a time and then each participant rolling a dice. The combination of the card points and the dice indicate the time required for the card.
    • Tally the total story points against the total time required. Same for number of cards delivered.
    • After 10 cards, plot up the data and compare the projections.
    • Continue the process for the remaining 10 cards for a total of 20 cards.
  • Debrief
    • How did the projections compare between story points and counting cards?
    • Why is this?
    • How accurate were we at estimating the jelly beans?
    • How accurate are we at estimating software tasks or projects?
    • What can we conclude?

 

Learning Outcome

  • The foundation of Little’s Law
  • Core assumptions
  • How to use it effectively
  • Experience a simulation

Target Audience

People who want a better understanding of flow and predictability

Prerequisites for Attendees

This is open to all participants.

schedule Submitted 1 year ago

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