Scrum Velocity: Definition & Calculation

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Velocity in Agile: Definition & Formula

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:07 Definition of Velocity
  • 1:49 Calculation of Velocity
  • 2:48 Using Velocity
  • 5:03 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Stephen Meyer

Stephen has worked as a Project Manager and is PMP certified, as well as certified by the Scrum Alliance.

The main questions for a project are when and how efficiently it will be completed. In most project methodologies, there are numerous calculations and measurements to answer these questions. In Scrum, only velocity is needed to provide the answers.

Definition of Velocity

Randall's project team has recently started using Scrum, the most common form of Agile project methodology. As his team has become more familiar with Scrum, Randall introduces them to an important metric, known as velocity. The team is wary of metrics, because, in their experience, they are mainly used to increase demand and shorten deadlines under the claim of efficiency. Randall knows that his team can benefit from this metric if they understand how it's used. Before he can teach them this, he needs to define velocity for them.

Velocity is the measure of work completed by the development team within each sprint, which a repeated cycle typically spanning two to four weeks. The key in the definition of velocity is that it is the work completed by the development team. In Scrum, project work is broken down into user stories, which focus on specific functionality for an end user. The development team estimates the time and effort needed to develop and test each user story with points, or a numeric value. The work completed is the summation of these assigned points for user stories that have been fully developed and tested.

The other aspect to the definition of velocity is that the work is completed within a sprint. Sprints are used instead of weeks or days because it's within the sprint that the team commits to complete the user stories. When a team first begins Agile, they set the length of their sprints. While they can be as short as one week or as long as four weeks, it's important that the length stays consistent. Varying sprint lengths results in a varying amount of work completed. This would imply that the team's efficiency changes, but that might not actually be the case.

Calculation of Velocity

Once Randall has defined velocity for his team, he moves on to the calculation. There are two different versions of velocity that can be calculated, but the calculation is similar for each. The first version is actual velocity and involves dividing the total number of story points completed by the number of sprints. For example, if the development team has completed a total of 70 points over two sprints, the team's actual velocity would be 35 points per sprint. This is the more common version and the typical calculation for velocity.

The second version of velocity is expected velocity, which involves dividing the total number of estimated story points by the number of sprints. For example, if the development team estimates a total of 160 points over four sprints, the team's expected velocity would be 40 points per sprint. This version is less common and is mainly used in comparison with actual velocity to determine if the team is regularly meeting its commitments.

Using Velocity

After the team understands what velocity is and how it's calculated, Randall is able to discuss with them how it can be used. He's hopeful that they will see the benefit of this metric. Velocity can be used within the development team, as well as outside of it, and each use of velocity provides a specific benefit for the development team. Velocity can be used for estimating, comparing, and measuring efficiency and growth.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account