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SPERT® News, Tips & Tricks.

Hi <<First Name>>!
Welcome to the Statistical PERT® June 2020 newsletter!

I continue praying that God will bless the efforts of those who seek to find a Covid-19 cure. May you and your loved ones stay safe during this pandemic!

The Free June Webinar

When will your next agile release be ready?  In this month's free webinar, you will learn how to easily create a probabilistic agile burn-up chart using the Agile Burnup worksheet in Statistical PERT® Normal Edition. 

 Here are the questions we'll address:

  • Why should you use an agile burn-up chart to forecast release or delivery dates for agile-developed software?
  • How do you read an agile burn-up chart?
  • How do you create the agile burn-up chart?
  • How can you influence the story that an agile burn-up chart tells?
  • How can you override your team's historical record when creating the burn-up chart?
  • When is overriding your team's historical record a good idea?

Click here to register for this FREE, one-hour webinar on Tuesday, June 9 from 12P-1P (Eastern USA). Can't attend on that day & time, but still interested in the topic? Go ahead and register anyway, and I'll send you (and everyone else who registers) a link to the recorded webinar a few days after the live event.

New Release! Download Version 3 of SPERT® Beta Edition

I released a new major update to Statistical PERT® Beta Edition in May.  Version 3 of SPERT® Beta Edition includes these new/enhanced features:

  • New!  Monte Carlo Simulation worksheet using the beta distribution
  • New!  SPERT® Scheduler makes it easy to create a probabilistic schedule for plan-driven projects
  • Enhanced!  The Agile Forecast worksheet now has three scenarios instead of just one, making it easier to side-by-side comparison using different assumptions
Download Version 3 of SPERT® Beta Edition and try-out the latest release.

New Release! Download Version 4.2 of SPERT® Normal Edition

I released two new minor updates to Statistical PERT® Normal Edition in May.  Version 4.2 of SPERT® Normal Edition makes some minor formatting changes and two enhanced features:

  • Enhanced!  Easier Agile Burnup Chart worksheet no longer requires you to drag the last entry you made in the Product Backlog column (column C) to match the last iteration finish date (column B); an enhanced formula does this for you now, making updating this worksheet a little easier and quicker
  • Enhanced!  Monte Carlo Simulation worksheet includes more statistical information about the simulation
Download Version 4.2 of SPERT® Normal Edition.

New! Statistical PERT® Bootstrap Edition

I've created a brand-new way to easily build forecasts by bootstrapping.  If you're not familiar with bootstrapping, it's a way to create forecasts by resampling data that you know and have available, like, an agile team's historical record of "done" work items.  I'll share more about this exciting way to build forecasts for agile teams in the future, but if you'd like to try "Bootstrapping Made Easy" then download this still-under-development release of SPERT Bootstrap Edition.

Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card by Sharing Your SPERT Story

I'd like to start publishing different ways that people use Statistical PERT to solve their estimation problems. If you're using Statistical PERT to estimate a project or a release date for an agile-developed product, I'd love to hear about it!  Send me an email with your SPERT story.  If I publish your story either in this newsletter or on the Statistical PERT website, I'll send you a $50 Amazon Gift Card as a "Thank You!".

SPERT Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips & tricks when using any SPERT spreadsheet:

  • Choose your own names for the three outcomes on the Agile Burn-up Chart. The Agile Burnup worksheet (in SPERT Normal Edition Version 4) has, by default, label settings for "Optimistic," "Expected Value" and "Conservative" forecast outcomes. But you can choose different label names for these outcomes just by updating the labels in H2, J2 and K2 (note: Column H is hidden, so unhide it firstly). So, if you prefer the burn-up chart to have an "Aggressive" forecast line (instead of "Optimistic"), and a "Most Likely" forecast line (instead of "Expected Value") and "Pessimistic" forecast line (instead of "Conservative"), you can easily make those changes without breaking anything just by updating cells H2, J2 and K2.
  • You choose ANY two probabilistic outcomes on the Agile Burn-up Chart.  On that same worksheet, you can actually choose any two probabilities you want in cells J3 and K3.  By default, I show an "Optimistic" and "Conservative" outcome that is 15% and 85% probable, respectfully.  But you can change these probabilities to anything between 1% and 99% (although I recommend only using probabilities between 5% and 95%).  So, if you want to have two different "conservative" forecasts, where one is less conservative (say, 70%) and one is more conservative (say, 90%), you can do that.  The two forecast lines will both appear to the right of the "Expected Value" forecast line.
  • Remember that the Agile Burnup forecast lines use cumulative probabilities. So, if the "Conservative" forecast line is set at 85% probable (in cell K3), that means that the conservative finish date is 85% likely to occur ON or BEFORE the date where the "Conservative" forecast line intersects with the "Product Backlog" line.  It doesn't mean that there is an 85% chance that the finish date will be exactly on the date where those two lines intersect!
Got any questions about SPERT?  What would you like to learn about Statistical PERT?

I'd love to hear from you, so contact me.

Stay safe!

Copyright © 2020 William W Davis, MSPM, PMP, All rights reserved.

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