Agile@University  - 4th Lesson: From building a great vision to building a good backlog

The focus of the 4th lesson was on the product owner side. The preparation and organization of the work on the product is crucial for the success of product development. In small groups the students walked trough the whole process of creating a good vision and preparing & organizing the product backlog.

5 December 2011
agile, haw-hamburg, requirements, university, user stories, vision

We started by building a product box to foster the ideas. It brought creativity and fun into this exercise and allowed to establish the foundation for a great vision. Here are some impressions of the product box exercise to build the vision:

From the vision we moved on by highlighting those requirements that represent our product differentiators.

The students then, starting from those requiremetns, created user stories and placed them into the Product Backlog. To structure it we used requirements and Minimal Marketable Features (MMFs). The MMFs are used to build minimal sets of functionality (by grouping together user stories) and to support earlier delivery of value to the customer.Using requirements helped the team to maintain the focus on the important differentiator for the stakeholder while user stories helped facilitating the discussion on the possible solutions. 

The product owner is responsible for maximizing the return on investment. So he needs a way to quantify the return and the investment. In the Lego City Game the students learned to estimate story with story points, and we also needed to be able to measure the return side. The groups used the business value game in this exercise to attribute  the relative business value of each requirement to one-another.

Here are some impressions of the business value game:

In this exercise the students experienced:

  • Developing an idea and 
  • Align on a product vision
  • Creation of requirements to catch the needs we try to fulfill with our product
  • Address business value 
  • How to write good user stories
  • How to split stories
  • Creation of Minimal Marketable Features

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