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T42: Incremental Releases Users and Stakeholders Will Love

T42: Incremental Releases Users and Stakeholders Will Love: How to Deliver Functionally Complete Valuable Incremental Releases

Wednesday, Oct 25, from 13:30 to 17:00

One of the benefits of Agile Software Development is "early and continuous delivery of valuable software." Dividing development work up into small pieces (user stories or backlog items) then building the most valuable parts first sounds like a simple idea, but there's often a bit more to it. Sometimes it takes a few not-so-valuable parts to allow users to take advantage of the most valuable parts. At times the most valuable parts may show well, but without a sufficient amount of software implemented, users may be unwilling to set aside legacy software or even manual processes to actually put the new software into use and earn the return on investment incremental release should bring. In this tutorial participants will learn the basics of planning incremental releases that are useful to their users. We'll discuss strategies for splitting user stories into the small but useful parts that allow releases to contain more user stories. You'll learn more about the "myth of the finished user story" and why, if you're not cautious, your stories may inflate while you're not looking.

Intermediate:  Agile Customers, Product Owners, Project Managers, Product Managers, Scrum Masters, Iteration Managers, XP Coaches, and anyone using Agile development concerned with getting the most out of their incremental software releases. In addition, anyone interested in the basics of Agile development in particular the concept of incremental release.

Goals: Introduce participants to the fundamental Agile development concept of incremental software release. Teach techniques that allow participants to effectively develop and tune incremental release plans.

Format: This tutorial is taught by alternating presentation and discussion with hands-on exercises that allow participants to learn by doing. Participants will function in small teams to build an incremental release plan, then split stories to deliver the most functionality possible in the shortest amount of time.

Jeff Patton, Thoughtworks: Jeff Patton has designed and developed software for the past 12 years on a wide variety of projects from on-line aircraft parts ordering to electronic medical records. Since working on an XP team in 2000, Jeff has been heavily involved in Agile methods. In particular Jeff has focused on the application of user centered design techniques to drive design in Agile projects resulting in leaner more collaborative forms of traditional UCD practices and higher quality software. Some of his recent writing on the subject can be found at and in Alistair Cockburn's Crystal Clear. Jeff is currently a proud employee of ThoughtWorks, an active board member of the Agile Alliance, and founder and list moderator of the agile-usability discussion group on Yahoo Groups.

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