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RE: [XP] What to do when breaking down 5 stories takes a whole day?

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  • Kristoffer Roupe
    Hi all, and thanks for all your responses. Steve Gordon wrote: Instead of attempting a functional or structural breakdown of an epic, try splitting epics into
    Message 1 of 256 , Apr 2, 2008
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      Hi all, and thanks for all your responses.



      Steve Gordon wrote:

      Instead of attempting a functional or structural breakdown of an epic,
      try splitting epics into distinct, specific, end-to-end scenarios.



      Am I getting you right when I think you mean something like this:

      - Change "this" in the UI, post "that" button, makes "this" happened in the database.



      Almost like use case scenarios that is.



      Mike Hill wrote:

      My first response would be to suggest that we need more shepherding *before
      *the planning meeting. Assign each 'epic' to a geek to pre-sketch into
      smaller stories, and to know the main *geek *answers to questions.



      We actually did this. But the product owner merged the stories right back together again. The response from the PO was that he couldn't see any benefit from making the smaller parts and that he fears that he will lose the overview of the product.

      (I'm at the writing of a How to -topic on our wiki on "Release planning" that I hope will give him the tools to lose this need for overview in the stories)

      The only problem, was that the developer who did this was home sick during the planning.



      My second response would be to wonder if the team is spending too much time
      because of fear. If stories become too 'contractual', the result is
      inevitably long and boring over-legalization.



      I don't really get what you mean here... could you explain more?



      My third response is to ask after the length of an iteration. Smaller
      iterations produce smaller stories producing smaller planning sessions



      3 weeks, so I don't think that the length is an issue. Might be, but nothing that have struck me so far.



      George Dinwiddie wrote:

      Is this a new transition to Scrum? If so, who led the adoption and why?



      Yes George, we are in the transition into a more lean approach and it was I plus another guy who tried to get it in. We started off like most others, as a rogue mission in the development team, and are since a couple of months trying to spread throughout the rest of the company. The transition to scrum was initially brought up because of vague and bad specifications, moving targets and generally no control of what was done and why. Back then the development team was around 6 people and we are twice as many today.







      Kristoffer Roupé

      Lead Programmer

      Cint AB

      Torsgatan 8

      SE111 23 STOCKHOLM, Sweden

      Mobile: +46 70 487 72 03

      e-mail: kristoffer.roupe@... <mailto:kristoffer.roupe@...>

      webb: www.cint.com <http://www.cint.com/>

      Houses are built to live in, not to look on; therefore, let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had. - Sir Francis Bacon





      From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of George Dinwiddie
      Sent: den 1 april 2008 19:59
      To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [XP] What to do when breaking down 5 stories takes a whole day?



      Kristoffer Roupe wrote:
      > This is why I now ask you guys. Because I know that there's a lot of
      > people on this list that have more experience than me on
      > XP/Scrum/Agile/Lean etc. and I'm eager to know if there's some
      > "hidden tricks" out there that I could use.

      Kristoffer, I don't know any "hidden tricks," but a lot of the work I do
      is coaching people in the skills that make the work easier.

      You mention a lot of things in your post:
      - much time spent breaking stories in the planning meeting
      - working on multiple products at once
      - context switching
      - epic-sized stories
      - Product Owner missing the planning meeting

      It seems you know that these are problems. It seems that this knowledge
      may not be generally accepted in your company. So if you want things to
      change around these problems, it might be good to start with figuring
      out what are the perceptions (both of problems and of things that people
      want to maintain) of others in the company, including the Product Owner.

      Is this a new transition to Scrum? If so, who led the adoption and why?

      - George

      --
      ----------------------------------------------------------
      * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
      Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
      Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
      ----------------------------------------------------------





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Niraj Khanna
      Hi Unmesh, Sorry for not responding in over 1 month. We were away on vacation. ... I think what you re describing maybe a symptom or practice of why some
      Message 256 of 256 , May 8, 2008
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        Hi Unmesh,

        Sorry for not responding in over 1 month. We were away on vacation.
        > So to measure success or failure of "Agile" transition is to measure
        > if people are thinking for themselves, rather than blindly following
        > agile coach's advice and running behind agile buzzword. How can we
        > measure that?
        >

        I think what you're describing maybe a symptom or practice of why some
        agile transitions "succeed" over others that "fail". I'm just
        interested in measuring whether it succeeds or fails. A secondary and
        more useful study would be "why do agile transitions succeed/fail".
        Finally, to be quite honest, I wouldn't be surprised to see "Blindly
        following agile manual" in either the "success" or "failure" camp. I
        think Ron has discussed practicing all the XP practices before
        deciding which ones to drop, but I can also see how practicing and
        applying practices without an understanding of expected benefits
        coulod lead to adoption failure.

        Thanks,
        Niraj.
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