GitHub Workflows

Track My Velocity

About Velocity Charts


Successful development starts with a solid plan. But when time, budget, and quality are fixed, as they are in an agile software development, how can you predict the scope of work your team can accomplish in a sprint?

The answer, of course, is historical data. Velocity charts are an agile tool which display a team's historical speed of work. At a glance, you're able to see exactly how much value your team can ship each sprint.

People tend to overestimate how much they can get done in a given time period, resulting in missed deadlines and frustrated teams. Using learnings from our velocity charts, we're able to make much more accurate goals.

In isolation, the amount of work completed in one GitHub milestone isn't very helpful. Factors outside your control – like illness, meetings, or holidays – are certain to pop up. But viewed over a period of weeks, this data provides valuable insight.

Velocity charts reveal how much work you can reasonably commit to, which is especially helpful when planning sprints. And because they only use real GitHub data, there's no question as to whether the information is accurate.

How to Read Agile Velocity Charts

If you haven't already, start adding story point Estimates to your GitHub issues and pull requests. Velocity Charts displays the total number of estimates completed in your recent milestones.

To access the charts, select “Velocity tracking” in ZenHub's Reports tab. The chart will automatically display both open and recently closed milestones, and you can hover over each bar to see more detail.

Note: If you have connected repositories together, your Velocity Charts will pull in data from more than one GitHub repo – giving you an even more accurate idea of your speed.

Using labels on the Velocity Chart


Adding labels to the Velocity Chart allows teams to break down how many story points were closed sprint-over-sprint using a subset of data. This gives additional insight on how team efforts have been spent over the last sprints.

Using label tracking, teams will be able to detect trends to improve processes, increase productivity, and stay agile. For example, adding the bug and urgent labels to your Velocity Report provides answers to questions, such as “How much of our time was spent addressing urgent bugs over the last few sprints?” or “How has our new QA/Code Review process been working to address bugs before releasing?”

More insights empower teams to take action and stay agile, encouraging continuous improvement.

Next Lesson:
I want to use Burndown Charts
You’ll learn…
  • How to meet deadlines more consistently with scrum burndown charts