Need to Learn More about the Work You’re Doing? Spike It!


Spikes aren’t for everything. But when you need to do research and discover what’s going on, they work. Put them in your estimation toolbox and see what you learn.

User Comments

Allison Pollard's picture

I love that your article includes what to do with the code afterwards because I've noticed some teams treat a spike like a chance to get a "head start" working on a future story rather than focusing on the learning.

May 26, 2014 - 1:28am
Johanna Rothman's picture

Hi Allison, thanks! Yes, I'm a firm believer that the spike is for thet learning, not a head start.

May 26, 2014 - 7:43am

About the author

Johanna Rothman's picture Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” helps organizational leaders see problems and risks in their product development. She helps them recognize potential “gotchas,” seize opportunities, and remove impediments. Johanna was the Agile 2009 conference chair. She is the technical editor for Agile Connection and the author of these books:

  • Manage Your Job Search
  • Hiring Geeks That Fit
  • Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects
  • The 2008 Jolt Productivity award-winning Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management
  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management
  • Hiring the Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets and Science of Hiring Technical People

Johanna is working on a book about agile program management. She writes columns for and projectmanagementcom and blogs on her website,, as well on

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