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    Storytelling: Developing the Big Picture for Agile Efforts

    Thomas Cagley
    Thomas Cagley
    schedule 9 months ago
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    45 mins

    Agile reminds us that the focus of any set of requirements needs to be on an outcome rather than a collection of whats and whos.  Storytelling is a powerful tool to elevate even the most diehard requirements analyst from a discussion of individual requirements to a discussion of outcomes. Outcomes are the big picture that acts as an anchor for whole efforts and which is continuously broken down into more and more detailed backlogs. The onion metaphor that is popularly used in agile planning (Cohn’s Planning Onion) can be used to describe the evolution of backlogs. Building an initial backlog is much like peeling through the layers of an onion to get to the core. There are many mechanisms for developing and maintaining the detailed backlogs, including asking, observing, showing and all sorts of hybrids. Using the onion metaphor, techniques for developing and splitting user stories are the second layer of the onion. However, before getting to the center of the backlog evolution onion, composed of features, epics, and user stories, we need to understand the big picture. 


    Provide an overview of storytelling in a business context and a lean change canvas framework.


    The room will be broken into teams (aisles will be used if auditorium seating).  Each team will be seeded with a common product change scenario. Based on the scenario the teams will be asked to tell the story of the change and capture the story on a small change canvas.  The exercise and session will culminate in by sharing ideas and lessons learned.

    (Note the longer workshop would break the changing canvas into epics and stories)


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