Understanding the Vertical Slice

One of the biggest challenges in breaking down backlogs is knowing how to split up the work from a backlog into right sized pieces. I’ve already talked about the concept that smaller is better, but I we haven’t really addressed the decision of how to actually divide a backlog up to make it smaller. The default path Most developers trying …

Even Backlogs Need Grooming

Imagine this common scenario if you will. One of your friends calls you up and says: “Hey, would you mind helping me move on Saturday, I am getting 4 or 5 people together and we are going to move my stuff to my new house?” You of course reply: “Sure I can help, what time do you want me to …

How to Break Down a Backlog

The process of breaking down a backlog is one of the most important steps in any Agile process. I have found over the years that the better a backlog is broken down the smoother the implementation of that backlog is. I have found that the single greatest influencer in the success or failure of a backlog is the process of …

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Agile Testing is Different

I come from a QA background. I started off my career doing testing.  I learned about testing the same way I learned about development… reading lots of books and applying what I learned. This is how you are supposed to do QA: Write a test plan for the project. Gather requirements.  Put them into a repository and give them cold …

AJH-redtail taking off

The Kanbanand Guide

In my last post, I talked about some of the problems of Agile processes and suggested the introduction of a new process which takes some of the best parts of each of the popular processes and condenses them into the Kanban lean-style-thinking of limiting the work in progress. For this post I want to clearly define what I am calling …

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Return of the Fatlog

Just make it work… I first introduced the concept of a Fatlog a couple of months ago. Basically, a fatlog is a Scrum backlog, or any Agile user story, that is too big and can be sliced vertically into thinner functions of the system. I talked about the kinds of symptoms which might indicate a backlog is indeed a fatlog, …