Yesterday I released a minor update to Version 2 of the Statistical PERT® Beta Edition. This minor release improves some formatting of the Vlookup tab so it uses the same, yellow-shading + blue text format for cells eligible for end-user inputs.
I also added another feature that was included in Version 4 of Statistical PERT® Normal Edition: “Click for help” buttons. On all interactive worksheets, there is a prominent, orange “Click to call” button to make it easy for anyone who wants free, email support to get it. The button links to my site’s “Contact Me” page where they can fill-in their name, email account, and question/issue.
This summer I’ll be working on Version 3 of SPERT® Beta Edition. Version 3 will include the same feature set as what the SPERT® Normal Edition has with its Version 4 release. That is, it will include the ability to use a specified standard deviation, it’ll have a Monte Carlo simulation worksheet, and have up to three scenarios on the Agile Forecast tab.
If you want to be notified whenever I release new versions of Statistical PERT, I’ve got a new way to do that: add yourself to my new email newsletter. Once a month, I’ll send a short newsletter offering a tip or trick for how to use Statistical PERT, plus I’ll send out notifications whenever I release new versions of these spreadsheets.
Today I added a new Agile Forecast tab to the forthcoming Version 2 of Statistical PERT Beta Edition. This Agile Forecast tab is very similar to the Agile Forecast tab in the SPERT Normal Edition Version 3. I introduced the Agile Forecast tab last year in Version 2 of SPERT Normal Edition.
What makes the Agile Forecast tab different in the SPERT Beta Edition is that it, obviously, uses the beta distribution to model the uncertainty around what each Scrum sprint (or agile iteration) will accomplish. This opens up the possibility to model this uncertainty using shape parameters that very nearly create a uniform distribution (in SPERT Beta Edition, this is called a “Guesstimate” about how likely the most likely outcome really is).
I compared some results between SPERT Normal and SPERT Beta Editions, and found that both editions calculate the same release date, just in different ways. Notably, I used “Medium-Low Confidence” in SPERT Normal, but had to use “Very Low Confidence” in SPERT Beta to obtain a close match of the standard deviation. By default, SPERT Normal uses only 7 subjective phrases for how likely the most likely outcome is, but SPERT Beta uses 10. The two editions treat the subjective phrases differently, even though they share the same word phrases.