Thursday 24 January 2013

The Olympic Sharpie - Pen of Agile Champions

I have to admit, the humble Sharpie does not often get a mention in the Agile press but it is the pen that ensures visible, easily readable story cards with not too many words on them.  If you can't fit your story on an A6 card written clearly in a Sharpie then the story is too complicated.

And now we have the Bronze, Silver and Gold standard:

These little beauties were a gift from my wife and have been excellent in a new process I have been running in Agile requirements workshops lately to categorise Epic level stories, I wouldn't say I invented the process, but I think I may be the first to have enhanced it with the use of these pens.

Seemingly product owners and other business stakeholders like shiney things, so if you give them shiney pens to add a priority category to their stories it seems to work well.

I have been using the following scale and asking the workshop participants to add a splash of colour to the cards as follows:
  • Gold - Must have in initial release (minimum shippable product)
  • Silver - Must have in later release(s)
  • Bronze - Would like in later releases
  • Blue - Don't really need it any more

I have told the group that if in doubt or if there is debate, to always pick the lowest colour.  These colours are not specifically indicating an order of play or individual priority however quickly enable the targetting of resource to the Gold cards for breakdown into Actionable User Stories therefore minimising waste, Silver and Bronze to follow.

Long live the Sharpie!

No comments:

Post a Comment