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How does the Scrum team decrease the difference between Capacity and Velocity (contd..) ?

For the past many posts, I have been suggesting some tips and techniques for improving the Velocity of a team, and also how to increase the efficiency of the Scrum team, which in turn also increases the Velocity. Further, in the last post (Scrum Velocity), I had also talked about when the Velocity of the team stabilizes, and hence the measurement makes more sense. In this post, will talk more on this subject, which could mean the measurement of the Scrum Velocity, as well as various other factors that affect the Velocity of the team.
– Learn more about the team problems as well as issues that affect individuals. Quite a few times, there are issues that affect people in the team that are outside the project, such as the state of facilities in the company, worries about their career, environmental issues around them (it could be that too much noise happening around them in an open cubicle company), and so on. One needs to talk to the team members and find out what can be done about these issues (and these are not exactly impediments in the classical sense of project based impediments, more like organizational / environmental issues that need to be talked through, and maybe some suggestions made as to how to solve them)
– When the team is asked about their issues, it is expected that there will be follow up and issues that are blocking their work (or it could even be environmental issues that could be causing morale issues) need to be resolved, and the team members see that work is happening to reduce these. If they report issues, and then do not see progress on these issues, it makes them more unlikely to report issues in future that could be affecting their work, and then you this starting to affect their efficiencies and consequently the velocity of the team.
– Cooperation between the team members. Scrum depends to a large extent on the cooperation between team members, since the team is more empowered, and if this cooperation is missing or is reduced, the efficiency of the team reduces, and hence the Velocity of the team also goes down. If you are able to determine that the cooperation between team members is down, then it is time to focus on how to bring these cooperations levels higher. These could be because of ego issues, or because of a mindset, or in some cases, it could be because these people just don’t get along well. In all such cases, there needs to be counseling and action taken to increase the level of cooperation between team members. This of it as the difference between individual tennis players, and a basketball team playing together, cooperating with each other.
– When the holiday season approaches, then the velocity of the team will reduce. So, for example, when Thanksgiving approaches, then there is an increased chance that more team members will take vacation for days before and beyond Thanksgiving, which in turn in most cases leads to a reduced Velocity (if a team member is on vacation, then this can have a ripple effect of reducing the work availability for other team members who are dependent on this team members – say, if the development team member is on vacation, then the QE team member will have less to test).

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