Level of Certainty - Estimation Techniques

Setting Realistic Expectations with Team and Business

Mar 9, 2023·

2 min read

Level of Certainty - Estimation Techniques
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Summary

The Level of Certainty is a daily metric that measures the likelihood of completing sprint work on time, ranging from 0% to 100% and allowing for real-time tracking of progress and effective allocation of resources.

Definition

The "Level of Certainty" is a daily updating value that provides a snapshot of the likelihood of completing the sprint work on time. It ranges from 0% to 100%, with 100% indicating complete certainty that all work will be finished on time, and 0% indicating that it is extremely unlikely that all work will be completed.

As we move closer to the end of the sprint, the Level of Certainty should change more rapidly, moving up or down depending on the progress being made. If the team is making good progress and completing tasks as planned, the Level of Certainty should increase. On the other hand, if the team is facing obstacles or falling behind, the Level of Certainty should decrease. By monitoring the Level of Certainty on a daily basis, the team can quickly assess the status of their work and make adjustments as needed to ensure a successful sprint.

In comparison to simply stating "At risk or not at risk", the Level of Certainty provides a more nuanced and transparent assessment of the team's likelihood of delivering on time. A binary assessment provides little transparency and promotes relatively little critical assessment of one's likelihood of delivering on time.

In addition to providing insight into the likelihood of completing the sprint work on time, the Level of Certainty also allows leadership to prioritize and direct resources, help, and those with additional bandwidth where it's needed most. By having a real-time understanding of the team's progress, leaders can quickly identify areas that may require additional support and allocate resources accordingly.

For example, if the Level of Certainty is low for a particular task, leaders can assign additional team members or provide additional support to help the team get back on track. On the other hand, if the Level of Certainty is high, leaders can redirect resources and help to other areas that may need it more. This continuous monitoring and adjustment of resources helps ensure that the team is able to complete the sprint work on time and with the highest level of quality.

In conclusion, the Level of Certainty provides valuable information for both the team and leadership, allowing for real-time tracking of progress and effective allocation of resources to ensure a successful sprint.