AG02: Collaborating & Communicating Agile Requirements
Business Process Management
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Project failures are often due to poor requirements gathering, analysis and planning. Traditional requirements documents may not contain complete and accurate requirements due to rapidly changing business environments. Agile requirements gathering, by moving detailed requirements closer to implementation, allows for rapid response to change. This class will show you how to gather and manage these requirements.
This course will be valuable to all those involved in developing technology solutions that meet business requirements and would like to do so using Agile methods.
This class is for you if you are a:
More than simply a methodology or approach to software development, Agile embraces a set of principles that drive more effective software development. Agile focuses on the customer, embraces the ever changing nature of business environments and encourages human interaction in delivering outstanding software. In this introduction, we'll discuss the following:
Among the key contributing factors leading to project failure is poor communication between the customer and developer groups. It is critical, therefore, that each successful project start out right. In this section we'll cover the following topics:
Working in small teams, you will establish a project charter including goals and objectives for a sample project. You will participate in defining key roles for project team members and set clear expectations for project communication.
Focus on the Customer
It is critical that the customer be the focus of a product throughout the development lifecycle. Every requirement should bring some value to the customer. Therefore, prior to defining requirements, it is important to define the customer. This will include the following topics:
Within your teams you will brainstorm some customer roles for your example project. From the brainstorming, you will consolidate the larger list of roles into key roles that will be the focus of your sample project. For each of the key roles, each team will create personas and share them with the class.
User stories are a way to capture requirements from a customer point of view. Stories do not capture all of the detailed requirements, but require enough information to estimate and plan. A proven tool used in Agile teams to capture initial requirements, in this section we will explore the following topics:
Led by the instructor, the class will come up with some user stories for a sample project. We will discuss how to determine as a team what is appropriate for your user stories to be effective.
The Product Backlog is the complete list of desired elements, or requirements, for the product. It is NOT a Requirements Specification, but a high level identification of what the software may satisfy. In this section we will discuss effective means of creating, prioritizing and maintaining the Product Backlog. We will peruse the following topics:
In small teams identified previously, you will engage in a story-writing workshop as a means of building a product backlog for your sample project. Subsequently, you will participate in prioritizing your product backlog and present the highest priority stories to the class.
Estimating and Planning
Among the greatest challenges in developing software and delivering against stakeholder expectations is estimating accurately and subsequently planning how those expectations can be met. Agile cannot make that challenge disappear, but offers some very helpful tools that enable teams to set and meet the appropriate expectations.
Using the estimating techniques taught using story points, you'll enjoy a few rounds of Planning Poker with your team to establish estimates for your highest priority stories. This fun and highly effective method of relative estimating is certain to be a valuable tool for you to incorporate into your own estimating process.
The release plan identifies a goal for the stories that will be included for a release of the software. Through the prior processes, the team will have prioritized the stories and estimated the team velocity. These key elements will come together to give the team a level of confidence that they can deliver the necessary requirements for a product release in what is normally a fixed timeframe. We'll examine the following topics:
Each team will establish a release plan for their sample project incorporating priority, estimates and velocity as appropriate. We'll discuss how real experiences of fixed time and requirement projects working well with an Agile release plan.
At the appropriate time, prior to entering into the development of a story, requirements will need to be discussed in more detail. Use cases are a proven method for documenting the appropriate detail from a user interaction point of view. In this section, the instructor will introduce use cases and discuss some of the foundational elements that support the development process.
Teams will discuss and document use cases, including alternate paths and exceptions, for some of their high priority stories. As a class we'll discuss the relationship between use cases and stories, and how they complement each other.
Iteration Plan and Execution
An iteration is a fixed amount of time in which stories/requirements will be developed, tested and ready for release. Because the requirements communication process takes you into each iteration throughout the product release, we'll explore the iteration planning and execution process. During this section we will discuss the following topics:
Using Agile Methods – Retrospectives are a key practice in Agile. We will take an opportunity to review our learning collectively and how we can improve. Each participant will identify one or two things that they will adapt in their working environment based on their learning. The instructor will also identify any elements of the course that should be adapted for a better learning experience, thus benefiting future course participants
You may cancel this class 10 or more business days prior to the start date of the class for a full refund. No shows or cancellations made within 10 days will forfeit all fees paid.