|How much have you invested? *|
So How Do You Measure Actual CostsMeasuring actual costs turns out to be an easier process assuming that you have a tool to manage the backlog and a scrum master running daily standups. You'll also need to have some basic governance and insure that >X% of the team's activity is captured as stories. You don't want the team accounting for every hour at work as stories because there are administrative tasks, non-development work, special meetings and other activities that are not appropriate to account toward direct costs.
- You'll need to determine an hourly cost for the sprint. This can simply be done by
- Know who will be on the team during the sprint and request the number of days that they will be absent during the sprint
- Calculate, Hourly Cost for Sprint N = Sum(Hourly Rate * Number of Hours Planned Work in Sprint N) for each member of the team / (Total Hours Planned for Sprint N)
- You'll need to know how much effort was applied to each story which can be easily be done by the ScrumMaster during the daily standup. If Tim only worked on Story 1 yesterday and he worked 8 hours/day, then you know that this story consumed eight hours of activity. If Sara worked on two stories, yesterday, then I would suggest applying a 50/50 to each one unless she can provide more specifics. Use the agile backlog tool to keep a running total of Actual Hours per story.
- At the end of the sprint, calculate the total hours applied to all completed stories. Call this Total Hours Applied.
- The Cost for each story can then be calculated as Story Cost = (Hourly Cost for Sprint N) * (Actual Hours for the Story)
- If Features and or Epics are used to group Stories, their costs can be calculated by the sum of Story Costs for their associated stories.
- For Releases, you can also calculate the development costs by summing up the costs of the completed stories.
- If Total Hours Applied varies significantly from Total Hours Planned, then that should be discussed during the retrospective. It implies the team put in overtime for the sprint, and would help for the team to reflect on the cause.
- In Step 3, I suggest teams only account for completed stories. I am suggesting the total costs of a Story be decided and allocated only on its completion.
- A team can also choose to calculate costs associated with stories that are not completed or not released.