Agile Metrics, Forecasting & Predictability Workshop

2 Day Course

“When will it be done?” “How many items will I get in the next release?” “When will all of the items in the backlog be completed?”

Those are some of the first questions that your customers will ask you once you start work for them. This hands-on workshop will provide you with the tools you need to answer those questions predictably. In this tutorial, attendees will learn what metrics are necessary for accurate forecasting, how to visualize those metrics in appropriate analytics, how to use those analytics make reliable forecasts and understand risk, and, finally, how to make meaningful interventions for overall process improvement.

Learning Outcomes

  • An understanding of what Lean-Agile metrics are necessary for predictability.
  • An ability to make accurate forecasts for single items including how to forecast when an individual story, epic, or feature will be done.
  • An ability to make accurate forecasts for multiple items including how to know when all items remaining in a backlog will be done or an ability to project how many items will be completed by a given release date and the risks associated with each.
  • An understanding of how to use flow metrics and analytics to achieve a stable process including an understanding of why a stable process is necessary for accurate forecasting.

Topic Areas

  • Flow Metrics: a deep dive into WIP, Cycle Time, and Throughput—including why you need to track them, how they are related through Little’s Law, and why they are important for forecasting.
  • Flow Analytics: an introduction to Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFDs), Scatterplots, Histograms, and other supporting charts—including a detailed discussion of what they are, how to generate them correctly, and how to utilize them for better predictability.
  • Forecasting Using Monte Carlo Simulation: how to use flow metrics to answer “When will it be done?”—including an introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation and statistical sampling methods for forecasting (no advanced mathematics required!).
  • Quantifying Risk and Risk Management: how an understanding of risk is crucial to developing accurate forecasts—including how to quantify risk in the different analytics’ charts and how changing forecast inputs can help to develop an overall risk profile.
  • How to Get Started: how to immediately apply these techniques to your current project or process to achieve the results you are looking for—including what data to collect, how to mine your data, and how much data you need to begin.

This workshop will be split into the following parts with several hands-on exercises throughout.

Day One – The Basics of Forecasting

  • What is Predictability?
  • What Data Should We Collect?
  • Forecasts for Single Items Using Cycle Time
    • What is Cycle Time and Why It Is Important
    • Traditional Single Item Forecasting Techniques and Why They Fail
    • Cycle Time Scatterplots and Forecasting
    • How to Quantify Single Item Forecast Risk (Percentiles and SLAs)
    • Improving Your Single Item Forecasts
  • Forecasts for Multiple Items Using Throughput and Monte Carlo Simulation
    • What is Throughput and Why It Is Important
    • Traditional Multiple Item Forecasting Techniques and Why They Fail
    • Introduction to Monte Carlo Simulation and Statistical Sampling Methods
    • How to Answer “How Many Items by X date?”
    • How to Answer “How Long to Complete Y Number of Items?”
    • How to Quantify Multiple Item Forecast Risk
    • Improving Your Multiple Item Forecasts
  • How to Know If You Can Trust Your Forecasts
    • Work in Progress and Little’s Law
    • Cumulative Flow Diagrams (CFDs)
    • CFDs and System Stability

Day Two – Advanced Topics in Predictability

  • Pull Policies
  • Little’s Law Deep Dive
  • Flow Debt
  • How Do I Know When Something Should Start?
    • Traditional Planning Techniques and Why They Fail.
    • An Introduction to Cost of Delay.
    • Weighted Shortest Job First
    • Cost of Delay Divided by Duration
    • Monte Carlo Simulation and Cost of Delay
  • How to Get Started
    • Topics in Data Mining
    • Things to Watch Out For
  • Parking Lot / Q & A




  • Anyone who has been asked to answer “When Will It Be Done?” or otherwise had to give an estimate for a User Story, Epic, Feature, Project, and/or Release
  • Executives, managers, or team members who want better understanding and transparency into the health and performance of their process
  • Anyone who currently uses Agile or Lean Methodologies and is interested in how to improve the overall predictability and efficiency of their current practices

Trainer: Dan Vacanti

Dan Vacanti

Daniel is a 20-year software industry veteran who got his start as a Java Developer/Architect and who has spent most of the last 15 years focusing on Lean and Agile practices. In 2007, he helped to develop the Kanban Method for knowledge work. He managed the world’s first project implementation of Kanban that year, and has been conducting Kanban training, coaching, and consulting ever since. In 2011 he founded Corporate Kanban, Inc., which provides world-class Lean training and consulting to clients all over the globe–including several Fortune 100 companies. Recently he co-founded ActionableAgile™ which provides industry leading predictive analytics tools and services to any Lean-Agile process. Daniel holds a Masters in Business Administration and regularly teaches a class on lean principles for software management at the University of California Berkeley.


Prices start from £895 + VAT (group discounts available on request)