How do you know when you’re ready to do work? How much design is un-agile?
Agile teams tend to make the mistake of doing almost no up-front design before plowing into the work at hand. Being agile doesn’t meant the work should be a complete mystery when you’re being asked to estimate and deliver it. Here at iContact, we’re rolling out a checklist that helps us determine when we’re ready to move forward from an idea to an Epic and when a Story is ready to go into a sprint.
Epic Readiness – know what we need to build so we can design
- Business Requirements
- Technical Requirements
Story Readiness – know how we’ll build it so we can estimate
We’ve developed some checklists to help us get to this level of readiness:
Business Requirements Checklist
- Do I know who the stakeholders are and what they want?
- Do I know how we plan to roll this out to customers?
- Do I understand feature-wise priority?
Technical Requirements Checklist
- Will this affect areas of the software known to be more risky?
- Do I have a high level understanding of environment/infrastructure/architecture impact?
- What type of testing is needed? Load testing?
- Do we have a design documented?
- Have I read it?
- Have we solicited feedback from stakeholders? Are there collaboration points?
- Do we have a diagram?
- Do we understand the interfaces and the data passed between components?
- Will there be additional data to store? Where? How will it be used?
- Does our design manage risk?
- Are there standards we can apply?
- Is the design iterative? Can it be built in stages?
These tools are helping our teams plan backward from their grooming sessions to determine what level of technical vetting is necessary.