Monte Carlo simulations are used to model the probability of different outcomes in a process that cannot easily be predicted due to the intervention of random variables. It is a technique used to understand the impact of risk and uncertainty in prediction and forecasting models.
Sprints, standups and story points have come to symbolize Agile methods much like burgers, fries and cola symbolize fast food.
Ready for your Agile Happy Meal?
I hope not.
Like researchers of fast food, we now know that the Agile Happy Meal contains unnatural ingredients that decrease agility and cause process indigestion.
In 2007, a series of experiments led my colleagues and me to increase our agility by dropping story points and velocity calculations.
Those same experiments led us to replace fixed-length sprints with a flow-based workflow, and move from standup meetings to frequent team huddles.
Our process today looks nothing like a by-the-book, mainstream Agile method largely because we actively look for process waste and experiment to discover better ways of working.
In this blog, I'll explain why we dropped story points and velocity calculations and what you can do to work successfully without them.