January 26, 2011

Creating a Velocity Chart in TestTrack

Helix ALM
A velocity chart shows how many points have been delivered in a sprint in an agile project. The velocity chart is a great tool for sprint planning as well. Knowing how many points your team has delivered in past sprints allows to estimate with confidence how many points they can deliver in future sprints. TestTrack provides a velocity chart and on this post I am going to show you how to create it. Points versus Hours Several of the Agile reports in TestTrack can report on hours or points. In my previous post on how to create a burn down chart, I showed you how to use hours to create a burn down on tasks.  In this post I am going to show you how to report based on points. There is one fundamental difference between how hours and points are used in TestTrack. Hours are tracked in the workflow, and can be gradually reduced from the original estimate until there are zero hours remaining. Points, on the other hand, are not reduced. Points are entered when the item is estimated and remain constant until the item is closed. Points are only considered to be "delivered" when the item enters a closed state. Creating the Report in TestTrack To create the report go to Create > Reports... [caption id="attachment_7018" align="aligncenter" width="459"]Create Report Dialog Create Report Dialog[/caption] Select "Release Status" as the report type and click OK. On the Add Release Status window enter the following: Then select "Velocity Chart" on the Report On tab. [caption id="attachment_7019" align="aligncenter" width="451"]Add Release Status Report Window Add Release Status Report Window[/caption] Click the Source tab to specify where to look for data and what items to focus on. [caption id="attachment_7028" align="aligncenter" width="501"]Source Tab Source Tab[/caption] In the example above, I pointed the report to the "Spring Release 2011" Release folder. As you can see, it picked up the start and end dates from that folder. The folder that you point the report to must have release planning dates. It will only look for points delivered within that date range. The actual items that have the story points are not in the Release folder, however. They are a couple of levels down in the hierarchy. In this project, I use a User Story Binder folder to decompose my user stories and that is where I keep the user stories. If there is a very small story that doesn't need to be decomposed, I'll leave it in the Sprint folder. That is why I chose those two folders in the Recursive for option. In this project, story points are only assigned to user stories. Under "Item Filters", I have chosen to only look at Stories/Tasks objects, and specifically only user stories. Having selected all items would not affect the output, but since the report engine would have to comb through all item types, it would take longer to generate the report. Selecting the "Include data for linked items" option allows you to include data from items linked to the items you chose to report on. If you use this option, the linked items must have story points assigned to them for them to be included in the report. The two remaining tabs are not used in this report, so we are finished. Following is a screenshot of the velocity chart report. [caption id="attachment_7032" align="aligncenter" width="567"]Velocity Chart Velocity Chart[/caption] In the report, you can see that 26 points were delivered in Sprint 1. Sprint 2 is the current sprint and we have delivered 10 points so far.