Suma is a Scrum Master for a team of 8 people who are using 2 week Sprint consistently. Suma reports to Arun, a demanding manager, who has 5 other Teams of similar size who are using different Sprint durations. Arun had been engaging an Agile Coach for his unit of 55 people for the last 6 months. During his Staff Meetings Arun would ask all the Scrum Masters to present the Velocity data for each of their Teams. Since last 3 Sprint cycles, Arun has been asking Suma in the meeting why her Team’s velocity is less compared to other Teams. How should Suma go about handling this situation?
Suma, in her role as Scrum Master, needs to ensure that right Scrum practices are adopted in the Team. Velocity is not a measure of productivity and cannot be compared across Teams. Velocity number can differ across teams based on several factors – team size, base story size, relative scales the teams may use for Story Point estimation, Sprint duration etc. Comparing velocity data across teams can drive wrong behaviors in the team.
Arun needs to be educated on these aspects. Suma should have a one on one with Arun and explain him about this and convince him why he should not compare velocities across teams. Since Suma reports to Arun, there can be sensitivity in Suma giving such feedback to Arun, if he is not open and receptive for such feedback. In such a case, Suma should leverage the Agile Coach to provide such feedback to Arun and educating him on the right way of using metrics.