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Yesterday's Weather

Yesterday’s Weather is a Scrum pattern that helps Teams quickly calculate how many Points they will likely complete in the upcoming Sprint. The name comes from the fact that the best predictor of today’s weather is yesterday’s weather. In most cases, the number of Points completed in the last Sprint is the most reliable predictor of how many Points will be completed in the next Sprint.


Estimated time for this course: 2 minutes
Audience: Beginner
Suggested Prerequisites: Scrum Framework

Upon completion you will:

  •  Understand the concept of Yesterday's Weather
  • Know why it is used
  • How to calculate Yesterday's Weather
  • Qualify for PMI PDUs. See FAQ for details
Yesterday's Weather Overview:
Here’s how it works. First, the Team determines their average Velocity for the past three Sprints, adjusted for team size. For example, if one person of a five-person Team is on vacation for the entire Sprint in which 50 points of work is completed, the Team's raw Velocity (50) should be divided by 80% (4 instead of 5 Team members) for a normalized Velocity of 60 points. Normalized velocity is the number of points you would expect the team to complete if all team members are available full time.


During the next Sprint Planning, the team determines what the their percent capacity will be for the upcoming Sprint. If a fully staffed Team has five members who all work full time, but one team member will be absent  for a day in the coming week-long Sprint, the team’s capacity will be 96%. (Be careful to only correct for major team member absences and not try to over-correct for minor changes in capacity.)


Finally, multiply the team’s normalized velocity by its percent capacity for the coming Sprint to determine the targeted points for the next Sprint. This technique is quick, accurate, and Jeff says that he would not run a Scrum without including this Pattern.


You may also want to factor in a Sprint buffer to account for Interruptions during the Sprint.


Here is Scrum Inc.'s Yesterday's Weather Tool. It does all the math for you.



Yesterday's Weather


The Scrum Pattern Language of Programming :  The PLoP movement codifies well know Agile practices that have been successfully implemented many times.