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.
[MARATHON #167 / UNIQUE MARATHON #85 / 7 OCTOBER 2017]
In my opinion, the best way to get a good night’s sleep on a long-haul transatlantic flight is to run a marathon: A marathon (combined with a few “nightcap” beers) is the perfect recipe for a blissful flight!
The first challenge was a logistical one – find a marathon close enough to my hotel in central London to get there, run, get back, shower and make my flight (plus have enough time to rehydrate with a beer or two before boarding).
[marathon #166 / unique marathon #84 / 1 October 2017]
The best thing about work travel is hunting down obscure marathons to run. A short trip to London and the hunt was on… After whittling down the options, Clarendon Marathon was selected as the potential prey to be conquered.
One of the improvements SAFe version 4.5 introduced was incorporating practices from “The Lean Startup” into the framework – specifically the use of benefit hypothesis statements into features and epics. This is a story of how well this worked for us. Continue reading “The Power of Feature Hypotheses”
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.
This article is an supplementary appendix to the post: The Power of Feature Hypotheses
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”
[marathon #164 / unique marathon #82]
One of my paradoxical mantras is that, “Every holiday should include a marathon.” Last year, with some exceptional planning, I managed to fit three marathons into a one-week holiday in KwaZulu Natal. Unfortunately, young kids and the steadily declining rand mean that international holidays (and therefore international marathons) are something of a rarity these days. However, August 2017 saw a mini-family reunion scheduled in the Lake District in England and I hoped that this would provide the opportunity to increase my international marathon count (which was sitting at 26).
Travel dates were fixed around the Johannesburg school holidays and I expected to be spoilt for choice with interesting English marathons to pick from. I was devastated to find nothing in the race calendar. It’s obviously far too hot to run summer marathons in the UK – damn global warming! Undeterred I decided to cast my net wider; and was relieved to find the Reykjavik Marathon in Iceland where it never gets too hot to run marathons.