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SPERT® News, Tips & Tricks.

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

It looks like we're in for a long fight against Covid-19. Stay safe!

The Free July Webinar

How can you create a probabilistic, plan-driven schedule?  In this month's free webinar, you will learn how to easily create a probabilistic, activity-level schedule for a plan-driven project using the new SPERT Scheduler in Statistical PERT® Beta Edition Version 3. 

 Here are the questions we'll address:

  • Why are probabilistic (many-value) estimates superior to deterministic (single-value) estimates?
  • What are the sources of project uncertainty?
  • How to obtain activity-level estimates?
  • How to model activity-level uncertainty?
  • How to calculate finish dates on a probabilistic schedule?
  • How to choose a schedule contingency to guard against schedule (and budget) failure?

Click here to register for this FREE, one-hour webinar on Tuesday, July 14 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

This is just a reminder in case you missed this same announcement last month. 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 4.3 of SPERT® Normal Edition

I released another new minor update to Statistical PERT® Normal Edition in June.  Version 4.3 of SPERT® Normal Edition includes a new "Team Capacity" feature on the Agile Burnup Chart worksheet.  This new feature makes it easier to forecast when your agile team will have known, diminished capacity (like during the end-of-year holiday period).

Download Version 4.3 of SPERT® Normal Edition.

New! Statistical PERT® Bootstrap Edition

I've been working on 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. 

In this latest development build (Version 0.8.1), I have included histograms and separate worksheets for Scrum and Kanban teams.  I'll share more about bootstrapping in the October free webinar, but until then, download this still-under-development release of SPERT Bootstrap Edition.

Win a $100 Amazon Gift Card by Sharing Your SPERT Story

I didn't get any takers last month when I offered a $50 Amazon gift card to someone willing to share how they're using Statistical PERT to solve their estimation problems.  So, I'm doubling down and will offer $100 to anyone who shares their SPERT story with me and I publish their story on the Statistical PERT website.  If you're using Statistical PERT to estimate a plan-driven 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.  Even if I don't publish your story, I'll send you a $10 Amazon gift card as a token of my appreciation.

SPERT Tips & Tricks

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

  • Allow for product backlog growth when using the Agile Burnup Chart worksheet. The Agile Burnup Chart worksheet (in SPERT Normal Edition Version 4) lets you decide whether to use the current product backlog as a target for all upcoming sprints, or, you can incrementally increase the amount of work on the product backlog in each future sprint.  I like adding a few extra story points to every future sprint to account for emergent work.  So, if my current backlog shows 200 story points, then in the next sprint I'll put down 210 and then 220 and then 230 for the next three sprints, respectively.  This will make the green product backlog line rise slowly upwards, which happens a lot in agile teams that discover new work items as they build a product together.
  • Another way to do this is simply add a large-sized epic to the product backlog to capture the unknown, emergent work that the team expects to uncover in the weeks ahead.  So, if the product backlog has 200 story points today, maybe add a 40 story point epic which you'll identify and decompose in the future.  This way, your target product backlog will show 200+40=240 story points of work to complete.
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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