We build custom tools from time to time during consulting. These are hundreds of hours of work each, and we make them freely available to help build a more informed community of quantitative Agile practitioners. Our most popular tools are our Throughput Calculator, and our Single and Multiple Feature Forecasting spreadsheets.
Favorites – What do you want to do?
Throughput Forecaster: I want to forecast how long a single feature may take (<- click to download)
See these blog articles for instructions http://focusedobjective.com/forecast_agile_project_spreadsheet/ and http://focusedobjective.com/single-feature-forecast-spreadsheet/
Multiple Feature Cut Line Forecaster: I want to forecast multiple features at once (<- click to download)
Similar to the single feature forecast spreadsheet, this spreadsheet allows multiple features to be defined. It gives a likely date for each feature, and a tick or cross for if that is on or before a target date defined in the inputs. This help plan what features may make a release, and allows experimentation with feature priority order and scope earlier in the planning process. Forecasts are based on throughput/velocity estimate or historical team sample data. See our blog post on using this tool http://focusedobjective.com/multiple-feature-cut-line-forecaster-spreadsheet/
This spreadsheet takes the start and completed dates of work and builds many (over 15) charts. It also performs statistical analysis on the data to estimate what probability distribution fits best for probabilistic forecasting. The results on this data can be used in the Single feature or Multiple Feature forecasting tools (see above) to forecast future features or projects.
- Throughput trend
- Throughput histogram
- Planned and Unplanned Throughput trend and histograms
- Unplanned work percentage rate
- Cycle time weekly trend and percentile box-plots and data table
- Cycle time histogram
- Cycle time scatter plot
- Cycle time planned and unplanned histograms
- Work in Progress weekly trend
- Weekly trend of throughput, cycle-time and WIP in one chart
- Net flow (number of items completed – number of items started) per week
- Cumulative flow diagram
- Cycle time distribution estimation fit plot (spreadsheet estimates what distribution fits cycle time data best)
This spreadsheet does all of the basics and some advanced statistical analysis and Monte Carlo simulation from any input set of numbers. It allows special handling of outliers and specific values (like zero), it displays summary statistics and histograms, and it performs Benford’s Law analysis to confirm the data follows a random pattern (isn’t fake). We use this daily as our go-to exploratory data analysis tool.
This spreadsheet surveys current teams looking for skill risks. It helps identify gaps in people who can do a particular skill and people who can teach and mentor others. We use it to identify fragile parts of a team due to skill deficiency, and to plan how to grow capability by splitting teams and then restoring necessary skill levels. You enter the skills needed. It produces a paper survey for team members to fill in (expertise level and desirability to learn). These are entered into the spreadsheet and a heatmap of skill need versus availability helps you plan. One worksheet is devoted to helping plan teams with over 40 suggestions we have seen that improve team reliability and growth ability.
A dice based exercise to explore sample count impact on range estimation. Helps teach how fast uncertainty decreases with each sample taken from a random distribution (in this case 1 to 100) using either three rolls of a six sided dice, or two ten sided dice. Takes 10 minutes to introduce and 20 minutes to do.
A dice base simulation of throughput forecasting. Helps teach the basics of Monte Carlo throughput forecasting. This demonstrates exactly how our Single and Multiple Feature forecast actually do their magic behind the scenes. Takes 30 minutes to introduce and perform. The last sheet has a worked solution if teams don’t complete in time. We often spend an additional 30 minutes discussing the question on the first page to help attendees think beyond the basics.
Explore the full set of tools and resources here: GitHub repository There are over 20 other tools that we don’t describe here and the list is always growing.
These tools provided without warranty by Focused Objective LLC licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, ideas or feedback.