Editor's note: This is part of a series named TRIVIALITIES by Andrés Calviño, Head of Organizational Capabilities at Techie Talent.
So you are requested to share your team's velocity with some erudite manager who wants to forecast when it would be possible to release something. Are you sure to let someone outside your team play with your velocity?
It doesn't matter if velocity is a good metric or not for this at this moment. Velocity is useless in any context if you fail to deal with these questions:
1) Are you truly honest with your DoD (Definition of "Done")?
Measuring how fast you move is meaningless if the things you say you finish are ongoing. Or even worse, you don't know if they are finished.
2) Do you really, really, really know the quality you are producing?
It is meaningless to show how fast you can move if what you produce keeps breaking here and there. Remember Uncle Bob: "The only way to go fast is to go well."
3) Are you paying your technical debt?
Assuming you know your technical debt (do you?), you need to manage to pay it at some point. Technical debt acts like a parachute: it will inevitably slow you down.
Empirically speaking, velocity becomes a totally untrustable metric if your team is not mature enough to commit to DoD, build high quality, and manage technical debt.