Step by Step handbook for Agile Development. Part 2, the Steps in the Process.

I want to caveat this entry with the statement that this is my version of the Agile process, in general it adheres to what I think of as the core values of pure Agile with SCRUM but over the years I have had to modify it to better fit the realities of the companies and teams I have worked with.

So in this entry I’ll quickly summarize what the each of the steps in the Agile process are and how I see each of them relate in terms of timing and sequencing. As I have stated before in this blog, I am going to assume that the reader already has a general knowledge of what agile is and what the basic terms mean so I won’t have to define every word.

The Steps are:

  • Pre-grooming – the process by which a story is evaluated for readiness to go into the backlog for grooming by the team
  • Grooming – is intended to allow the actual developers and QA analysts who will be responsible for delivering the feature(s) being groomed to get answers to any remaining questions and for them to point the story(s)
  • Planning – This is the process via which each agile team determines all of the necessary steps, at a high level, that will be required to successfully complete the story
  • Backlog Management – the purpose of the backlog management phase is for the product and program teams to work together to determine the priority order in which stories will be arranged in the backlog
  • Development and QA Prep – This is the step during which much of the thinking and planning arrived at during Planning is executed
  • SCRUM – This is the daily standup meeting where the SCRUM master asks and receives information on the progress of the features being worked on
  • Development and QA – this is the point in the process where code starts to get written and QA testing starts with the creation of test cases and testing automation
  • Demo – The demo is when the development team “demonstrates” all of the work accomplished during a sprint to all interested parties
  • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) – After the code and QA are complete, but before you release your code to production, the people who created the stories and the product owners who requested the features in the sprint get to try out what you’ve built to make sure that what you delivered is what they asked for
  • Deployment – when the code gets deployed to production
  • Retro – AKA, retrospective.  This is when all of the participants in the process get together and talk about what was done well, what could be done better next time, what needs to be done completely differently and in general take a “retrospective’ view of what has been completed in the previous sprint
  • Clean up –  this is when the basic housekeeping steps of code consolidation, branch management,  closing of tickets, etc. happen
  • Backlog Management – this is when you take a look at your backlog and decide if the order is still correct or if any existing stories need to be taken out, modified or replaced

So how does all of this fit in in terms of timing?  I’ve added a timeline chart to illustrate the relative timing and duration of each of the steps above.  You will note that I do not tell you the duration of each of these steps.  The reason I do that is that I don’t want the reader focusing on how long anything to supposed to take. At this point in the conversation it is more important to understand what each of the steps is and how they all fit in together.   In a later post I’ll go into more detail on timing but for now I’ll leave you with this timeline.

timeline illustrating the relative timing and duration of each of the steps in the Agile process

timeline illustrating the relative timing and duration of each of the steps in the Agile process

Next time in Part 3 we will begin with the detailed analysis of each of these steps.  So for now just stick with me and please drop me a line if you have any questions, and thanks for reading.

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