You know “collaboration over contract negotiation”, right? Metrics often drive a wedge between management/stakeholders and the team, none more so than forecasting metrics. However, when you give a probability distribution as the answer to the question, “How long will it take?” instead of a single date, an amazing transformation happens. Suddenly, the team and management/stakeholders start collaborating to manage tradeoffs and risk. So, how do you generate a probabilistic forecast?

Maybe you’ve heard of Monte Carlo simulation. Maybe you’ve seen probabilistic forecasting techniques demonstrated or even used. But you just don’t understand how it works. This talk is a gradual introduction of these techniques. You need to know nothing about combinations and permutations. You don’t need to know how to apply complicated formulas. You need only have the ability to understand the rules to a simple strategy game.

This talk starts off explaining the simplest form of probabilistic forecasting using throughput/velocity as an example that anyone can follow. We’ll then layer on more sophistication (but no complicated math) and discuss the tradeoffs of each approach along the way. In the end you’ll have everything you need to understand and make use of probabilistic forecasting.

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