The Trend is your Friend - meaningful forecasting for agile teams

In this talk we will speak about the reasons why traditional project estimation and planning is misaligned with some of the problems that we are trying to solve in technology.  We will dust off an ill-gotten major in econometrics and introduce the audience to some basic forecasting techniques that are used to give predictability to complex problems in other domains.

We'll talk about what is needed to first create predictable patterns of delivery, and then demonstrate a couple of different approaches to using your team's historic data to generate powerful forecasts of your future progress.

Finally we will talk about some of the challenges of using historical data as a predictor of future performance and ways in which metric selection, seasonal events, and team process can affect both validity and precision.

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Outline/structure of the Session

20 minutes:  Slideware on the subject of forecasting

20 minutes: Demonstration of how to evaluate team predictability and then forecast future progress using two approaches:

  • Mazzlo - a SaaS analytics and forecasting tool for JIRA created by one of the speakers
  • Creative-Commons licenced spreadsheets

5 minutes:   Slideware on the limitations of forecasting and potential workarounds

Learning Outcome

Learn why traditional project estimation and reporting is misaligned with some of the problems we solve with technology

Gain an understanding of the value of the shape of data and how it can be used to inform the future

Learn some simple statistical techniques for generating forecasts in complex domains

Learn about a new tool that can make forecasting really easy

Learn some of the challenges with forecasting based on past data and some potential workarounds

Target Audience

Scrum Masters, Product Owners/Managers, Project Managers. Anyone who wants both predictability and agility from their delivery.

schedule Submitted 1 month ago

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