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Troy Magennis and Forecasting: “200 People Rolling Dice and No One Got Hurt!” at Agile2016

Troy Magennis has two sessions at Agile2016: “Forecasting Using Data: Quickly Answering How Big, How Long and How Likely” and “Data Driven Coaching: Safely Turning Team Data Into Coaching Insights”. About the first session he shares that the workshop tries to eliminate the fear of statistics and demonstrate how to forecast software projects using historical data or range estimates and dice, of all things. Troy emphasizes using sample historical data to extrapolate probabilities. He also says that people “don’t need as much data as they think”; if you focus on one data type like date of completion, you can do “basically any type of forecasting using just that data.” As for the second session, Troy shares that data collection should serve three purposes:

1. To tell a story, not to build people up
2. To glean insights from the story
3. To see whether the insights had an impact at some later time

Seen this way, data can be a powerful aid to coaches.

SolutionsIQ’s Alan Dayley hosts at Agile2016 in Atlanta, GA.