I have a question but it’s more about story writing than Scrum process. You don’t have to get it answered there but any help from you or them would be fantastic.
I have a new feature being put into our product that is completely back end work. There is no UI work as it is an added functionality and the UI is already in place.
The feature will take 8 - 10 weeks to complete to where it can be tested and demoed. There isn’t a way to demo at any point prior the end. Developer(s) can do testing at certain intervals but there isn’t really any way for QA to do testing of small stories. INVEST does not work in this situation that I can see.
I can break it down enough to give a story each developer but those stories run from 1 week long to 6 weeks.
Other than the generic, phase 1, phase 2 , what do you do with stories that you can’t complete and demo in a sprint?
Question by Project Manager / Provo, Utah
Agile coaches answer:
This is a question that can’t be answered without knowing the context. Yet it is one that comes up regularly.
From my experience I have very rarely (2-3 times in 10+ years) found a Product Backlog Item that really couldn’t be sliced any smaller and still provided value - maybe the overall effort was bigger that way, but it was possible.
Therefore I would challenge the fact that this can’t be made smaller and would try to work with the Development Team to cut it smaller still. If it is more effort I try to balance that with the increased risk of not delivering implemented functionality for 10 weeks.
If you decide you can’t or won’t cut that smaller then you have to face and accept the risks:
- deferred integration
- maybe much work for nothing, because the change isn’t accepted after all
- reduced visibility
Product Backlog slicing has to be practiced, you get better at it over time. But only if you don’t accept “impossible” too soon.
Answer by Peter Götz