Slicing Technical Stories

 In Project Management, Scaled Agile, Scrum, Uncategorized

STORY SLICING A MAGNIFIED VIEW 

I have been asked by many scrum teams in my Story Slicing workshops, How do we write non functional aspects of a system as stories. While we predominently focus on “User stories” as functional parts, there araise a situation where we may have to consider ‘Infra Structure Capability” building technical capability for Customers.

One or the other way these are the end consumers expectations in terms of Performance, Load and Capacity of the system. In my recent Transformations for a major bank ,I happen to work with one of the Scrum teams who is building a Technical Platform for the bank while most of the capabilities are a part of Non functional aspects.

How did we slice them?

Every system must meet the non functional aspects to emerge as an Infra Platform , PaaS especially. While doing so there would be “n” number of non functional aspects involved. lets take an example,

Non functional aspects

When we move towards from top to bottom we find fine grained stories. Here the slicing would be done Horizontally. Vertical slicing would not be suitable for non functional aspects of a System. Each of the course grained can be fit in to your sprint based on your project needs and priority from the PO in meeting the non functional aspects. So when you do non functional aspects not everything just be on the back fo the cards, at times your teams would have to build the Technical Capabilities and 90% of your work may land up in technical stories.

Who could be a PO for Technical Story writing?

We are familiar that PO is a person responsible for Managing the PBI along with the help from Dev teams, but there are times where your teams might fully dependent on Chief Architect who will guide your teams on Non functional aspects , in this case it is better to have a person as a Product Owner from a Technical background.

How do we turn the PBI of Technical Stories to Sprint backlogs:

Another challenge is to fit these fine grained stories in to Sprint backlogs. let us take one of our Stories from the link we have attached here.

Back up and Recovery- Again There are two levels of slicing in this,

Course Grained – Focus on Acceptance Criteria for this
Fine Grained – Focus on Technical Conditions of Satisfaction

Remember the “Acceptance Criteria” – will be written from a User perspectieve

“Technical Conditions of Satisfaction” – for each of the fine grained will be written from a Technical satisfaction perspective. I am not introducing any new term here rather i wanted to differentiate this, as you will have to make out what works for you and what not when you are in your journey!

Dimensions to be considered while doing Technical Slicing

User
Interfaces
Actions
Data
Controls we have
Environments
Quality Criteria or Technical Conditions of Satisfaction

I shall write in detail about slicing them.in my next post

Pratap Sahoo
Pratap Sahoo is a leading Scrum and agile consultant and enterprise level transformation coach. He holds a track record in transforming organizations on lean and agile approach and helping developers, Scrum Masters, and agile practitioners in adopting agile practices. He is the author of " A Scrum Master's Guide Book" & "Lean Management with Kanban". He also Cofounded PMF Edu group.
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