Focus on Finishing Stories in the sprint & MBIs in the Program Increment

May 26, 2018 — Posted by Al Shalloway
At the end of a sprint it is common to have a burn down graph that looks like a hockey stick. This signifies that most stories are completed near the end of the sprint. An equivalent thing happens in many PIs-nothing releasable until the end of the PI.
 
SAFe decouples development from release w/its mantra “Develop on cadence, release on demand.” However, the focus of the PI is still on completing the PI. While in sprints we should be focusing on the completion of stories, in PIs we should be focusing on the completion of realizable business value as early as possible.
 
The backlog item to use to accomplish this should be the Minimum Business Increment (MBI), not features. The reason is that a feature, unless it is also an MBI, will not realize value when completed. We could get quite a few features done but have nothing to release.
 
Without a focus on MBIs it is possible, even likely, that features from different MBIs will get interwoven with each other and although we may complete our program increment have nothing releasable. 
 
In the same way WIP is managed in Scrum by focusing on completing stories, program increments need to focus on completing MBIs.
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About the author | Al Shalloway

Al Shalloway is the founder and CEO of Net Objectives. With 45 years of experience, Al is an industry thought leader in Lean, Kanban, product portfolio management, Scrum and agile design. He helps companies transition to Lean and Agile methods enterprise-wide as well teaches courses in these areas.



        

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