Writing Agile Requirements

In an agile software development project, writing down requirement is one of the most important activities that should be done. When the requirements are clear and written down in proper order, developers will be able to go ahead and start working on them accordingly. This can contribute a lot towards the success of an agile software development project.

When writing down agile requirements, it is important to take a separate document. On the index page of the document, you need to list down the goals and properties of the document. You should be short and brief at the time of communicating all the goals of the document. Then you should write down the background or the requirement from business. If there are any assumptions, you should write down them as well.

Next, you come to the most important aspect of writing down agile requirements, which is the compilation of user stories. It is possible to list down all the users who are involved with the development and then write down the user stories. Your user stories should be broken down into granular level as much as possible. Then only you will be able to end up with effective user stories. The user stories should cover all different aspects of the development as well.

For example, assume that you are creating a login page for a website. Then one of your user stories should be “As a user of the website, I should be able to see a link to retrieve my password, so that I can recover the password when I cannot remember it.” This user story will represent one granular level requirement of the login page. Likewise, it is important for you to have the other requirements written down in clear format.

Next, you should use user interactions with the system. If there are any questions, you should list them down.

— Slimane Zouggari

Colour of organization

We are living in a time, where the organizations are reinventing themselves. This is where the organizations are inspired to design themselves according to human consciousness. This will create a major impact on the agile working environment that you are currently sitting in as well. The color coded typology will define how the different organizations would evolve within the next century. On the other hand, it is also possible to use the colour of organizations as the base and determine their future characteristics and attributes.

  • Red – This is referring to the very first form of organization life, which originated over 10,000 years ago. These organizations are highly focused and highly reactive in short term. Street gangs, Mafia and tribal groups are perfect examples for such organizations.
  • Amber – Organizational life changed significantly along with agricultural revolution. This was led by the settled farmers. They were able to give life to organized religions, social institutions, and political states as well. People who belong to these organizations are associated with powerful personalities. They are commanding to almost all the aspects of social activity as well.
  • Orange – Organize organizational life started along with industrial revolution. They are having a hierarchical pyramid as the basic structure. On the other hand, the followers are provided with additional autonomy as well. This is supporting them to go ahead and accomplish the management directives in an effective manner as well.
  • Green – Along with the increased knowledge of the workers, green organizational life was created. This was created during the second half of 20th This organizational life is all about building consensus and gathering inputs from all the different factors available around us. This would eventually result in stronger human cultures in the long run.

— Slimane Zouggari

Ruthless Prioritization

While working in an agile environment, you will need to focus more on prioritization. In other words, you should get the prioritization from the business owner on items that are available in the backlog and start developing the product. In here, you will usually give priority to creating the things that are in a position to deliver the most customer value in the first place

Ruthless Prioritization can be used to build an appropriate framework for prioritization. This is where you will figure out that you will be able to break down prioritization into two different scopes. The very first scope would be prioritization in between projects. This is where you will determine what project the agile software development team should do next. Then you will have to work on prioritization within the project. In other words, it is all about determining what user story should be taken into the next sprint, so that your development team can work on.

No matter how you are engaged with prioritization, it is important to have a ruthless mindset. This is where you will have to keep on making the same decision again and again. The time you spend on it will be worthy because you will be able to easily overcome the chaotic nature associated with product development. On the other hand, the ruthless mindset you have will be able to help you with making quick decisions whenever they are needed. This will also contribute a lot towards the success of the development projects at the end of the day.

Prioritization is important because it will ensue that you and the product owner are getting the maximum investment out of the product that is being developed. It will help you to reach the goals within the fastest time as well.

— Slimane Zouggari

Slicing & dicing

User stories play a major role behind successful deliveries that we can see in an agile development environment. However, the product owner or the business analyst cannot just work on the user stories. It is important to focus on Slicing & dicing to create the best user stories, which are in a position to deliver the best results to the agile development team at the end of the day.

If the user stories are poor, the development team will have to go through a difficult time to deliver them. This would eventually waste the time and effort that they are spending on the investment. To make sure that such consequences don’t happen, it is important to focus on Slicing & dicing. In other words, slicing will help to create the best user stories. Such user stories will lead the development team to appropriate developments, where the team members will be able to create a product that is immediately usable after the deployment.

When it comes to Slicing & dicing, you should also keep in mind that slicing is something bad. That’s because it would cut the massive story into horizontal slices. It creates numerous dependent layers. On the other hand, all the activities will depend on each and every layer. A specific layer would rely on the success of the layer under it. This would make developments more complex as well.

The best method is to go ahead with Slicing & dicing is to create vertical slices. Vertical slicing will ensure that the slices are cut with limited scope. On the other hand, it will be possible to deliver the user-stories within the shortest possible period of time as well. This can eventually help the development team to end up with getting measurable and visible results.

— Slimane Zouggari

Broken window theory

Broken window theory indicates how the visible signs of misbehavior and disorder in an agile environment can lead a team towards further misbehavior and disorder. This would eventually end up where the team would make serious mistakes or crimes. The broken window theory was discovered back in the year 1982. It refers to the way how the windows are broken in the realistic world. A damage in a single window would quickly spread and it would eventually break all the windows. If we can fix the broken window, we will be able to save other windows from being damaged as well.

In an agile environment, broken windows refer to metaphor. It is important to have strict controls in an agile software development environment. This is where all the team members should strictly adhere to the agile principles. If the team is failing to do that, there is a freedom for even more misbehavior to take place in the future. This can result in major losses in the long run.

The main objective of broken window theory is to come up with more aggressive policies. In an agile environment, it is possible for the scrum master to make sure that all team members are adhering to the basics of agile developments. Along with that, it is also the responsibility of the scrum master to come up with zero-tolerance policing. Such policing strategies will ensure that strict rules are implemented on the agile team, which is allowing them to work accordingly. In other words, the team will not tend to deviate from adhering to the agile development guidelines. This will eventually make sure that the entire team will not run into more serious negative consequences in the long run. The scrum master will also be able to keep full control over the team.

— Slimane Zouggari

Groan Zone

All the design thinkers who are working in an agile environment should focus on abductive thinking. This is where the team members will get the opportunity to remain emphatic and analytical. Moreover, it can help them to be emotional and rational as well.

A Groan Zone will be a divergence zone, where people are provided with the opportunity to explore different ideas. Along with that, it is possible for the people to get to know about diversity. On top of that, it is also possible for the people to discover the different possibilities that they have ahead of them. All the people who are working within the Groan Zone should be open. This will deliver an ideal environment for them to share the ideas, be generative and expanding.

The ideas generated in a Groan Zone will not be owned by someone. Instead, these ideas come out from the group collaboration of all the team members. That’s the main reason why this zone is called as the Groan Zone as well. In here, the team members will get into a period of struggle. All of them would struggle equally as they are integrating what they learn. In the meantime, they will need to make sure that they are never stuck as well. They should also be mindful not to go backwards.

Within the convergence zone, clarity, and excitement would build. This would eventually result in the origination of clear decisions. Groups will be able to process them and end up with making clear decisions at the end of the day. This would eventually result in the delivery of sustainable results at the end of the day. Hence, it is a good idea to create Groan Zones and help the team to make the best group decisions.

— Slimane Zouggari

Mob programming

If you are working for an agile software development team, you will need to have a strong understanding about the concept called mob programming. This software development approach will ensure that the complete agile development team is focusing on the same thing, at the same time, while using the same computer.

The concept of mob programming is pretty much similar to pair programing, where two individuals work on the same computer to proceed with programming while ensuring collaboration. Pair programming is taken to the next level in mob programming, where the collaboration is extended to all the members of the team.

During mob programming, the entire team will not work on coding. Instead, the team will work on other non-coding work with related to the agile software development process as well. For example, the team will be able to define stories, design interfaces, deploy software and test. It is even possible for the entire team to engage along with the customers during mob programming.

There are numerous reasons available for a software development team to focus on mob programming as well. The main reason out of them is because mob programming would promote collaboration. In other words, all the team members will be able to provide their inputs and ensure the final outcomes. On the other hand, it is possible for them to collaborate with each other and figure out the best solutions available to come up with a specific problem that they are facing. On the other hand, the personal preference and physical comfort associated with mob programming can help the team members to overcome the gaps and work collaboratively for an extended period of time. This will eventually enhance the success of a software development project.

— Slimane Zouggari

Co-active leadership

One-dimensional, top down leadership is not the most effective leadership model that exists out there in the world as of now. It is outdated and doesn’t have the ability to deliver the best results to an agile team. Sticking to such a leadership style in an agile environment would result in the waste of leadership capabilities. That’s why it is important to take a look at the co-active leadership style and focus more on it.

The co-active leadership style is all about deep collaborations. Co-active leadership is associated with five different roles. In here, the leaders will need to switch from one dimension to another based on the work that they have to do within the team.

The first dimension is co-active leader within. Leadership starts from here. This is where a leader will be able to understand who he is and what his values are. Then it is possible to align leading the agile team according to those values.

The second dimension is co-active leadership in front. This would ensure the creation of effective connections with people who are following them. Along with that, it is possible to stand firmly on the decisions and ensure a clear purpose and direction.

Co-active leader behind is the third dimension, where the leader will focus on the support needed by the team. The leader will ensure enthusiastic and openhearted participation in the team to ensure best results.

The fourth dimension of leadership is all about ensuring co-active leadership beside. It is where the leader will take responsibility and create appropriate partnerships to support the strengths of each other. This will ensure powerful synergy.

The final dimension is co-active leader in the field, where the leader is connecting with the energetic field, which is surrounding all the life. It will help the leader to discover insights beyond rational mindset.

— Slimane Zouggari

Impact mapping

Impact mapping is a strategic planning methodology that you can find in agile software development. This agile method has the ability to help the software development teams to refrain from getting lost, while they are engaged in the process of developing products and delivering them. This will be don through clear communication of the assumptions. On the other hand, the support offered to the team in aligning the activities will also contribute a lot towards the successful results that you can secure out of impact mapping.

One of the key principles that you can find in impact mapping is that it has the ability to visualize assumptions. This is helping the teams to come up with the best decisions at the end of the day. This can be useful when the team is working hard to achieve objectives in a rapidly changing environment.

The impact mapping method is facilitating a high level of interaction and collaboration within the team members. Since this method is less bureaucratic, it is easy to apply when compared to the alternative strategies. On the other hand, it would ensure active participation of people who are coming from different backgrounds as well. When experts in different domains collaborate with each other, it would help the entire team to get the deliveries done in a timely manner.

In the long run, this agile method is helpful when helping agile teams to reduce waste. That’s because the teams will be able to prevent over-engineered solutions and scope creep. It will put the deliverables in the forefront and help the teams to proceed with achieving them in an effective manner. This will also ensure that the expected business outcomes are achieved at the end of the day as well. Due to all these reasons, all the agile teams should focus more on impact mapping.

— Slimane Zouggari

Agile remotely

Remote working is the new norm of working. This has created some confusion within the agile development teams. However, it is still important to ensure adhering to the agile practices, even if we are working remotely.

To ensure agile working from remote locations, it is important to be equipped with the correct tools, equipment, and workspace. This will help the team members of an agile team to remain comfortable and productive with whatever the work they do and stay away from being distracted. On the other hand, it is important to be present at any given time and converse effectively with the team members. Collaboration tools will be able to provide much-needed support to ensure it. The disciplined agile teams are always capable of locating the best methods to refrain from context switching and to avoid distractions.

The remote working approach should be aligned with agile ceremonies at all times as well. For example, the scrum masters will need to come up with new methods to conduct meetings. These methods should be dependent upon the size of the team as well. For example, it is possible for the scrum master to share the scrum board in the daily standup, whereas all the other team members will be able to contribute towards the digital daily standup.

While working from home, it is important to review the agile development strategies as well. The main objective of this reviewing process would be to reduce the risks that are associated with the developments. If the agile team is highly collaborative, it will be possible for them to work together and reduce the overall risk. The team members will need to contribute based on their strengths and offer the highest level of support to overcome struggles in the long run.

— Slimane Zouggari