Successful Incremental Releases

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.

Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know How to Get It

Why knowing what you want in agile development may be an impediment to getting it.

johnny_rottenIt all started with one of those weird trains of thought that come to you in the wee hours of the morning when you’re half way between asleep and awake. The first lines of the Sex Pistol’s Anarchy in the UK song were playing in my head. (This may be a hint at both my age, and the type and volume of music I listen to.) On that morning, Johnny Rotten’s words seemed particularly wise – and seemed to precisely describe a recurring problem I’ve had helping people really grok Agile development. Shortly after declaring himself an antichrist, Johnny says:

“Don’t know what I want, but I know how to get it.”
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