Data and Analytics

Right First Time: Measuring Velocity

Data and Analytics | Georgina | 20 April 2022

In Right First Time we explore how assuring successful change management is crucial in insurance transformational programmes. Dynamic software applications, allow insurers to transact policies and enable digital platforms more effectively than ever before. However, implementation is not merely a matter of getting it done, but of getting it done right the first time, every time. Measuring velocity is a contributing factor in large-scale implementations.

Measuring Velocity

Velocity is a key metric in insurance transformational programmes. It’s the amount of work completed in a Sprint by a team, workstream, or the entire programme. It’s also expressed as a number calculated by summing the estimates for the User Stories in that Sprint.

In a programme estimating its User Stories in Story Points, the sum of the Story Points delivered in a sprint, is the velocity score. In that Sprint, if the team completed five User Stories, and each User Story had been estimated at three Story Points, the velocity for that sprint was fifteen. For the next sprint, the Product Owner reasonably knows what that team can achieve and will plan the next sprint accordingly. Velocity measurement ensures that the amount of work expected from the team is realistic, based on previous performance.

Programme Velocity

At the programme management level, using the size of the Release Backlog (the sum of Story Points for all User Stories, for that Release) and knowing the velocity of all programme teams, the Project Manager can calculate if the Release can be completed on time, with the resource available. If the Estimate for the Release Backlog is greater than the combined velocity for all teams, the Release cannot be completed on time.

Accurate, real-time measurement of velocity is essential in insurance transformational programmes. Release dates are often inflexible, where the software Release must coincide with other elements, such as the launch of a digital platform, or planned rollout to business partners.

Burnup and Burndown Charts

The metrics are utilised in the Burnup and Burndown charts. These are crucial displays of velocity available to all on the programme.

The Burnup chart shows the ceiling for the Release (the sum of Story Points for all User Stories, for that Release) and progress, sprint-by-sprint, towards it. The Burnup chart is typically used by the Project Manager to understand if sufficient work is being completed to meet the Release deadline.

The Burndown chart displays the amount of work required to complete a Sprint and progress as the team completes the work. The team aim to have burned the estimated velocity for that sprint.

The Burndown is often used by teams to track their progress throughout a sprint to ensure that the work accepted for delivery in that Sprint is completed on time.

How Solution Assurance helps

Solution Assurance is a vital third-party service that assists customers to install and develop effective enterprise insurance software solutions.

Solution Assurance provides vital oversight of Velocity and advises programmes on the best methods to maintain and bolster velocity performance.