leanpizza.net - tasty Agile… one slice at a time – by Olivier Lafontan


May 12, 2010

What’s the ideal Agile workspace… with plasticine!

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Tomorrow is an offsite day for the PMO function of the company I am working with. A number of subjects and presentations are on the agenda, and a couple of other people and I have been asked to “do something around user stories”. Now, I won’t be able to attend for personal reasons but I have participated to the preparation of that bit.

What the three of us have come up with is to demonstrate the power if user stories by asking the attendees to write their own user stories and to come up with their own solution. The exercise of coming up with the backlog will be time-boxed, as well as the subsequent sprint. For sprint planning and during the sprint, one of our objectives is to demonstrate that a user story really is a “token” for conversation, and that the definition of the acceptance criteria can lead to a number of possible solutions when the teams gets down to discussing solution. Finally, we also wanted the teams to have fun during the exercise, not just another instance of “trying to teach grandma’ to suck eggs” kinda thing.

So, the audience will be split into equal size teams, and each team will be given the same brief: “The project is about coming up with the ideal project space”. As already mentioned, each team will have to write their own backlog of user stories – I am eager to see what persona they use for this! Once this done, all members of the team will become part of the delivery team and work towards fulfilling the sprint objectives.

The tool they will be given to do so is plasticine. I have asked for one of my colleague to take pictures of the “project spaces” the teams come up with. If that happens, I’ll post these back here.

If you’ve done things like that before, please let me know how it went!

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