Ensure Sprint Success with Stories that are READY (Steven Granese)

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"Never pull anything into a sprint that is not ready, and never let anything out of a sprint that is not done."

Creating a comprehensive "Definition of Done (DoD)" is a widely accepted Agile practice that fosters a culture of accountability, minimizes rework, and reduces team conflict. However, when a team first establishes a DoD, things often get worse before they get better. Why? Because the team no longer gets credit for incomplete work. Committed stories are started but not finished, multiple stories are carried over to the next sprint, and the team's velocity decreases. So what can be done to overcome this common problem?

An important tool to ensuring that stories are completed is an unambiguous Definition of Ready (DoR). Many Scrum-team issues are rooted in misunderstood and poorly prepared stories. In fact, I believe that stories that are NOT ready, but have been COMMITTED to a Sprint, are the root of all Scrum evil. Stories that are "ready" need to be clear, concise, and actionable.

In this hands-on presentation, I will demonstrate the methods that I have used with multiple teams to create stories that are truly ready for a Sprint, including:

• Creating a product vision to increase a shared understanding between customers, the product team, and the development team

• Building a Story Map to visualize the backlog, find missing stories, and understand customer journeys

• Collaborating on story writing using my three-touch grooming technique (speed grooming, sprint grooming, and sprint planning)

• Writing acceptance tests to decompose stories and uncover hidden questions

• Establishing a team-level "Definition of Ready (DoR)"

I hope that all participants leave this session understanding the importance of preparing stories that are “ready”. I also hope to provide practical and realistic techniques that can be applied immediately on any team that wants better stories and greater Sprint success.

About Our Speaker

Steven Granese is an Agile Coach and Consultant with Tribridge, a Tampa-based technology services firm specializing in business applications and cloud solutions. He has over 16 years of experience in the software industry, including over 7 years specializing in Agile methods and transformations. He enjoys working with companies that are highly motivated to build high performing teams, and are eager to explore new methods of delivering customer value.

Steven received a BA degree from Wake Forest University and a Masters of Electronic Commerce from Carnegie Mellon University. He holds multiple Agile certifications (CSP, PMI-ACP, CSM) and is a regular speaker in the Tampa Bay community. A native of Pinellas County, Steven currently lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two young sons. His personal blog can be found at http://www.sgranese.com

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