How George Costanza, Frogger & a Craving For Sushi Help Explain Features & User Stories

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In classes I teach, there is often confusion between what is a feature and what is a user story. This article is a simple analogy (a quest for sushi) that helps to explain:

  • The difference between a feature and user story.
  • How user stories can be broken into incremental chunks.
  • Why George Costanza is not agile.

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6 Reasons: From 12 Months to 2 Weeks for Feature Delivery

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This article is a supplementary appendix to the post: The Power of Feature Hypotheses.

Where We Were: 12 Months to Deliver a Small Feature

The graphic below is an example of a feature that previously took 12 months to deliver when we were working waterfall. This was the typical cycle-time for a small feature. Larger features would usually take over two years to flow through the system. With agile, we would now expect this same feature to be complete in a two week sprint. This article provides the six main reasons for the massive cycle-time reduction.

An example of a small feature that took 12 months to deliver in waterfall. In agile this can easily be done in two weeks.

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Using Hypothesis Statements for Features in Software Development

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This article is an supplementary appendix to the post: The Power of Feature Hypotheses

Experiment-Based Approach

Instead of making up-front decisions based on assumptions and imperfect knowledge we create hypotheses and run a series of experiments to determine whether each hypothesis is true or false. The results determine what we should stop doing, start doing and continue doing. Based on complexity, uncertainty and rapidly changing environments, most software development projects are “research and development” exercises ideally suited to this hypothesis-based approach. Continue reading “Using Hypothesis Statements for Features in Software Development”

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