16 Sep 2018 - Brigitte Maenhout
Experienced teams know the trap of assumptions. Every one assumes you are on the same page and is eager to jump into development, get it done, quick, quick, quick... and then nagging doubt sets in...
"Ah, that's not how I imaged it","Ow, I think I might have misunderstood this", "Well that's not what I was thinking!"
or even worse, cockiness!
"Ah well, this is more than enough", "Who cares, this is a better solution anyway"
or the worst: covering it up:
"This will actually work better", "No, you don't need anything else", "The customer will be happier with my solution"
Leading to re-work, frustration, low quality, disengagement, distrust ... it puts your team in a dangerous spinning spiral of negativity.
You high performers out there, developers, testers, scrum masters, UX, PO's and PM's know this all to well, so you ensure you have kickoffs at every level to mitigate this.
Example mapping is one of the most effective methods out there to get alignment quick with very little time investment. Having tried it both at feature level kickoffs and story kickoffs, it is incredibly fast to tease out the rules of what you are planning to build, the edge case and the examples that ensure complete alignment.
And Example Mapping using TeamUp Labs really allows your team to level up in the game of business agility!
Inclusive of all team members, harnessing their strength and celebrating diversity
Kickoffs ideally should be done with the whole team present. Every one can raise a rule and every one helps to think of examples and questions. As a team, make an effort to get every one's opinions in there, because that is extremely valuable to get a well rounded solution and increase team strength and performance.
High performing teams are usually formed of diverse team members, with different approaches to problems, the in-depth analyzer who spots all the edge cases, the user focused one who can easily put themselves in the shoes of your customer, the quiet reflecting one who will usually at the end throw in a comment or a question which will tease out another 2 or 3 examples or rules. This is extremely valuable! It harnesses the true strength of your team!
It's too big...
Example mapping encourages you to think about splitting stories too. If you end up with 20 rules, usually that is an indication that you at least need to consider splitting your story.
When you use example mapping at feature and epic kickoffs, or in refinement, there is another added bonus where you can highlight questions. Questions around UX, around security, NFR's, dependencies on other teams perhaps? These questions often need to be resolved before you start development to maximize cycle time once you start.
TeamUp Labs has a handy separate section where questions can be highlighted during example mapping, ensuring that you can capture the questions whilst still remaining focused on the story or feature exploration.
If you are working with Jira, TeamUp Labs has an easy export function which allows you to copy and paste a nicely formatted example mapping section in your story, epic or feature. Making it easy to use this as a foundation for automated tests and communication in and across teams.
But even if you are using a different tool, you can easily export the rules to plain text, which will work anywhere.
Example mapping drives business agility and team performance as it will:
What have you found most useful using example mapping and TeamUp Labs?