Agile Storyboarding for a viability/discover based work

  • I have a use case where we are following Agile (Scrum) and as part of our delivery we need to do some research work. For example:

    1) Open a source/sink data pipeline (research)

    2) Import data into new area

    3) Validate

    4) Cleanup

    These are sequences. but without completing no.1 above, we really cannot proceed for 2-4 and do a release.

    In my mind, the agile way would be to treat no. 1 as a different release item since we are releasing the pipe for usage. So, we should be storyboarding on releasing the new pipeline

    The work for no. 2-4 above should be classified as a separate product which can still be storyboarded, but they are not fleshed out for release until the pipeline is released.

    Are we thinking this in Agile way ?

    PFA - I tried to represent how it looks like initially from our PoV. It's a crude representation of things as they are now.

    enter image description here

  • Scrum promotes an iterative, incremental, and adaptive approach to releases. In effect, what you are asking is if you are taking this approach and the answer is probably, possibly, and likely not. I'll explain:

    Iterative: By working in sprints, you are working in iterations, which allows you to frequently review your progress and adjust plans as required. I expect you are probably doing this.

    Incremental: If you are creating a potentially releasable version of the product each sprint, you are working incrementally. It's hard to say from your diagram if you are or aren't. If you build the pipeline, is that a potentially valuable increment of the product? If so, you are working incrementally. If not, you aren't. It is, of course, not binary. Perhaps the pipeline isn't working incrementally because the team doesn't see a good way to. They just need to get that done. After that, they can release increments of the product. Is that perfect? No. However, it's way better than not working incrementally at all and the team shouldn't get too down about it.

    It is also worth noting that if you are releasing an increment every 3 sprints, you are still working incrementally. You are violating rules of Scrum though. Scrum would promote smaller increments.

    Adaptive: This refers to the ability to effectively pivot as circumstances change. In the most extreme cases, an adaptive approach might require you to throw out your entire backlog based on what you learn in a sprint. More commonly, these adaptations are adding missed features, changing features, identifying new solutions for known problems, etc.

    There is one big red flag in your diagram on this. Cleanup is at the end. This suggests that you are locked into delivering the solution in a set way from sprint 1 to sprint x. Of course, that may just be a problem with the diagram. In a more adaptive approach, I'd often see different areas of data and I'd want to build out the pipeline, transfer data, validate it, and cleanup in one sprint. If that's too big, I'd like to take on a smaller data segment. This would let me complete a full increment that left me in a clean state so I could pivot wherever I needed to next sprint.

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