This 3-4 hour tutorial describes a a modeling approach to identifying holistic releases that will benefit users and earn value for business stakeholders. Also discussed are strategies for scaling features appropriately to allow both appropriate release estimation, and on-time delivery of the best possible product.

Successful Incremental Releases 3-4 hour tutorial

One of the benefits of Agile Software Development is “early and continuous delivery of valuable software.” Dividing development work up into small pieces (user stories or backlog items) then building the most valuable parts first sounds like a simple idea, but there’s often a bit more to it. Sometimes it takes a few not-so-valuable parts to allow users to take advantage of the most valuable parts. At times the most valuable parts may show well, but without a sufficient amount of software implemented, users may be unwilling to set aside legacy software or even manual processes to actually put the new software into use and earn the return on investment incremental release should bring.

In this tutorial participants will learn the basics of planning incremental releases that are useful to their users. We’ll discuss strategies for splitting user stories into the small but useful parts that allow releases to contain more user stories. You’ll learn more about the “myth of the finished user story” and why, if you’re not cautious, your stories may inflate while you’re not looking.

OOPSLA 2006

Incremental Releases – Zip File

JPA Incremental Releases – Handouts

JPA Incremental Releases – handout supplement

Other Useful Information

  • HOW YOU SLICE IT, the original Better Software article describing the span planning technique.
  • Task Cards: A Word doc of the cards used in the modeling exercise.
  • Meszaros Storyotypes, a paper by Gerard Meszaros which served as a foundation and the inspiration for the thinning guidelines discussed in this tutorial.