Why You Need to Drive From MVPs and MBIs instead of from Epics and Stories Pt 2 in the series

April 4, 2018 — Posted by Al Shalloway

This continues Agile at Scale and the Different Approaches to Achieve It

Epics, features and stories have been around probably longer than 98% of the people who are now familiar with Agile.  XP and Scrum started with stories but as projects got bigger we needed a term for a really big story - hence an 'epic.' Back in the day, this was fine. 1, 2 or maybe three teams were involved. The product owner was there to answer questions. 

But as Agile spread to larger projects multiple teams were required. While most people doing Scrum come from combining the work of teams, we have found it more effective to look at what the business value to be delivered is (business value usually defined in terms of the customer but always within the context of the business). In this context something other than epics or combining stories is required.

This is where the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or Minimum Business Increment (MBI - think of it as the equivalent of an MVP in an established product) comes in. We must derive our features from the context of the MBI, not a big epic, since not all of even required features for the next release are required. By descoping early we can focus on the truly necessary value to realize.

 

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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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