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Definition of Throughput

Throughput is the number of completed work items per unit of time, for example, in a Sprint. It represents the theoretical bandwidth of the team expressed in work items. In other words: the amount of work the team can accomplish.

Insight into capacity

Measuring it helps Scrum Teams gain insight into their capacity and in predicting the amount of work they can handle within a certain time (such as a Sprint). Therefore, this metric is also frequently used during Sprint Planning.

Little’s Law

When Scrum Teams improve in this area, it results in increased productivity and delivered value. The metric is closely related to Cycle Time and Work in Progress. Little’s Law describes how they relate to each other exactly.

Example of Throughput

In the last four Sprints, the Scrum Team delivered 10, 8, 12, and 10 Product Backlog items (PBIs) respectively. The average Throughput is thus 10 PBIs per Sprint ((10 + 8 + 12 + 10) / 4).

Throughput VS Velocity

It resembles Velocity since both measure the team’s capacity. But what is the difference? Velocity expresses the team’s capacity in the number of completed Story Points per Sprint. Throughput expresses the capacity in the number of completed work items per Sprint.
Related terms

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