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SPERT® News, Tips & Tricks.

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

I'm writing this newsletter while vacationing with my family in the mountains of north Georgia. My home in South Florida was threatened by Hurricane (the Tropical Storm) Isaias. The last time I was on vacation (last October) another hurricane (Dorian) threatened my home. I think I won't go on vacation anymore after this...

The Free August Webinar

How to Overcome the "Flaw of Averages" Using Statistical PERT® Normal Edition. In this month's free webinar, you will learn what the "Flaw of Averages" is and how to overcome this flaw when estimating your project's uncertainties. Learn how this flaw affects both agile and plan-driven projects. And learn how to overcome this flaw by making probabilistic estimates and forecasts using Statistical PERT® Normal Edition Version 4.3. 

 Here are the questions we'll address:

  • What is the “Flaw of Averages“?
  • Why is the “Flaw of Averages” so devastating?
  • How can traditional, plan-driven projects fail because of this flaw?
  • How can agile projects fail because of this flaw?
  • How can you overcome this flaw using Statistical PERT® Normal Edition?

Click here to register for this FREE, one-hour webinar on Tuesday, August 11 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 Product Announcement! SPERT® LogNormal Edition

While on vacation, I've been working on an idea I've had ever since I released the SPERT Beta Edition back in 2017:  create another version of SPERT using the lognormal probability distribution.  The lognormal distribution is one of the popular distributions used by those who model project uncertainties.  It's shaped like a skewed bell-curve (long right-side tail) but has some interesting advantages besides modeling skewed uncertainties. Namely, it only uses positive numbers (unlike the normal distribution). 

By the time I release the September newsletter, I will have a development build of SPERT Lognormal Edition available for download and user feedback.  I won't release the first production release until 2021. 

New Release! Download Version 0.8.4 of SPERT® Bootstrap Edition

I'm about ready to finish up the first production release of the new SPERT Bootstrap Edition. The SPERT Bootstrap Edition performs a statistical bootstrap using historical data. If you're not familiar with bootstrapping, you'll want to sign-up for my October webinar where I explain the pros and cons to this estimating technique (sign-up won't begin for that webinar until after the September webinar, which doesn't begin until after the August webinar). But you can explore bootstrapping yourself by downloading the latest 0.8.4 version of the SPERT Bootstrap Edition, one of the "Bonus Downloads" on the right-side of the Statistical PERT download page.

SPERT Tips & Tricks

Here is a tip just for Scrum teams...

For Scrum teams, follow Mike Cohn's advice: Be 80% confident in getting 100% of the work done. 

Popular agilist, Mike Cohn, offers Scrum teams this advice: "I find a good goal for a team is to finish everything they say they will about 80% of the time. That is a good degree of predictability for the business without being impossible for some teams to achieve."

But how do you know how much work to bring into the sprint with 80% confidence?

That's easy using Statistical PERT Normal Edition. On the "Normal Charts" worksheet, simply enter the team's velocity as the "Most Likely" outcome, then choose very improbable minimum and maximum values that create a range of possible outcomes for what your team will complete in any one sprint.

For one of my Scrum teams that has a velocity of about 35 story points, I set the 3-point estimate at 10-35-60 and use "Medium Confidence" for the "Most Likely Confidence" value.  The team can bring in 27 story points with an 80% probability of completing at least that much work. They will probably get even more than 27 story points (which is why their velocity is 35 story points). There is only a 20% probability of completing less than 27 story points.

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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