Acceptance criteria can be helpful in expanding on user stories in order to capture requirements for agile projects. However, acceptance criteria should not be a route back to long, detailed documents, and they are not a substitute for a conversation. This article tells you how and when acceptance criteria should be written and employed.
Some teams only work with stories, but it can be difficult for a team new to agile to write stories that are easy to understand and provide value every time. An alternative is to add epics and tasks. Understanding the differences between each level and knowing what size story to use for each situation will improve the accuracy of your sprint planning.
One of the twelve principles behind the Agile Manifesto is “Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential.” Why is this principle called an art, while the others aren’t? And why should we maximize the amount of work "not" done? This article analyzes the importance of simplicity in agile projects.
A good key indicator for measuring how well your agile team is performing is the burndown chart. It’s a simple concept—as time passes, the amount of work to do decreases. Of course, there will be days when progress is not as expected or tasks end up larger than originally estimated. A burndown can help your team reset and keep stakeholders in the loop.
As real and daunting as scheduling pressures can be, they have to be balanced with the consequences of a potentially disastrous premature go-live. Don’t let all the reasons a system simply "must" be implemented by a target date overwhelm compelling evidence that it is not ready. Consider these eight questions honestly first.
Effort estimation is a major challenge for all the stakeholders of a project. Most people generally underestimate situations that may block progress and consider only the best-case scenario for a project. Your choice of estimation method may not be helping, though. Which would be better for your team: estimating by man-hours or by user story points?
The #NoEstimates movement isn't really about no estimates. It’s about working in a sufficiently agile way that you don’t need estimates. When you break down your work into smaller chunks, you provide more value by delivering working product than you do by estimating. What would it take for you to work that way?
If you are agile, you might spend some time estimating. If you’re using Scrum, you estimate what you can do in an iteration so you can meet your “commitment.” But estimation is a problem for many agile projects. The larger the effort, the more difficult it is to estimate. You can’t depend on ideal days. Do your estimates provide value? To whom?
The term minimum viable product, or MVP, has come to be misunderstood and misused in many organizations. It doesn’t mean you should be releasing half-baked, barely feasible software. Instead, you should be thinking of your product’s capabilities as a Specifically Marketable, Useful, Releasable Feature Set—or SMURFS!
Product development organizations that skip or rush through critical preplanning activities run the risk of failure. Organizations that use a more agile approach to product development ensure that the teams work on the right things, have the right amount of dialogue with their business partners, and produce the right amount of value to the product.