Traditional Waterfall treats Analysis, Design, Coding, and Testing as phases in a software project. This worked OK when the cost of change was high. But it hurts us in a couple of ways like Quality, visibility, handling changes. Agile development uses clear delivery vehicles to bring structure to any agile project: Epics, User Stories and Theme:
|Smallest unit of work, also known as a task||Themes can be thought of as group of related stories||Epics resembles themes in the senses that they are made up of multiple stories|
User stories are short, simple descriptions of a feature told from the perspective of the user or customer of the system. They typically follow a simple template:
“As a <type of user>,
I want <some goal>
So that <some reason>.”
User stories are often written on index cards or sticky notes, stored in a box, and arranged on walls or tables to facilitate planning and discussion. As such, they strongly shift the focus from writing about features to discussing them. In fact, these discussions are more important than whatever text is written.
An example of a User story may be…
|As a/an <type of user>||I want <some goal>||So that <some reason>|
|user||To order prints of my documents||I can attach in file|
|Frequent flyer||To rebook a past trip||I can save time|
|ATM user||To withdraw money||I can increase my cash on hand|
|Employee||To set my password||I can log into the system|
A collection of stories by category. A basket or bucket of stories. By its nature, an epic can also be a theme in itself. However, one group thought that themes should refer to business goals
An example theme: “Wishlist”.
Epics are larger bodies of work that stories roll up into. An epic can span across multiple sprints. Stories help teams keep track of specific details for the task.
The work shown in the chart above could be selected to be in a version that is completed during one or more sprints.
By using these vehicles, software teams are able to organize their work and break it down into do-able parts, so they can prioritize customer feedback and change from the original plan of the project without feeling like the walls have crumbled around them.
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