7 March 2014
Salil Chitnis

Software project progress tracking using Velocity Charts

What is “velocity”? As we all know, it’s the speed of something in given direction. If you are driving a car, we say that it’s running e.g. 60 Km/h north. What does it mean? It means that your car has specific speed and specific direction, or in other words velocity.

This analogy can be applied to software project progress tracking. Each project must have some speed and some direction which essentially means that each project must progress with some velocity. Project team must work towards the given requirements within pre-decided schedule.

Project completion is the function of accuracy of original estimation and progress you have made. Measuring only schedule progress is not enough. If you are running feature based project, best method to calculate progress is to measure the number of features present, number of features implemented, number of features pending and most importantly the quality of implemented features in the project.

But the big question is how to measure progress? For features based project, Velocity Chart is the best indicator. Velocity chart gives you an idea about how much progress is made till now and how much work has left.

Velocity Chart

If you observe above figure, which is a velocity chart, it is very simple to understand. Following is the process to create velocity chart:

  • Y- axis is number of features
  • X-axis is date (Can be milestone dates/ delivery dates etc.)
  • Now you can add up number of features against expected date as your total features of project
  • As and when team completes a feature, you can increase 1 number in graph against completed. In a similar way you can remove one from pending.(This can be optional)
  • If you want to add more features during the project, you can do the same
  • Ultimate aim is completed features = total number of features or pending features = 0

Velocity charts, measures three things: requirements, completed work and duration. It is based on agile methodology, as people can track team’s progress for sprints. In a way, Velocity Chart is your friend! Use it!

Inside Turizon, we use velocity charts regularly and it tremendously helped us to organize and plan our work.


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