That is throughput and how is it calculated?



  • I am studying Little's Law and I am wondering how all the variables are acquired for these calculations in the context of project accelerated with Kanban, especially throughput.



  • Throughput in Kanban refers to the amount of work delivered over a certain period. No matter how many work items your team has in progress, this metric ignores anything unfinished.

    Consider a workflow where throughput is calculated on a weekly basis (you can use any time range, but you should compare throughput of a team using the same range). In five weeks, this team delivers 5, 7, 3, 5 and 8 tasks respectively. Therefore, average throughput is calculated as (5 + 7 + 3 + 5 + 8)/5 = 5.6 or 6 tasks per week if we round up to the nearest whole number.

    To manage such metric make sure you are tracking team's items that were done on a regular basis and decomposition approach is the same.

    Such metric won't work for you in case you have tasks with dramatically different effort for work to be done. E.g. 1 week your team has committed to finish with 6 small items and managed 5 of them (throughout 5) and next week took 1 huge task and done with it (throughout 1).



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