Epics, stories, and tasks



  • I am new to project management in the software world and have been tasked with setting our user requirements and setting up our project board accordingly. I understand the structure of Epics, User Stories, and Tasks, and I have defined the Epics and User Stories.

    My problem now is that the tasks that outline the development work required to meet the user story need to be fleshed out. And herein lies my question.

    What is the best way to build out the backlog? For example, should I utilize backlog refinement sessions with one or two of my engineering SMEs to flesh out the backlog items concerning user stories? Is there a better approach?



  • Refinement sessions are a good start, but they should be with the whole team and not just one or two subject matter experts. By bringing the whole team together, you'll reduce communication necessary among the team members to understand the work and also convey the information in first-hand face-to-face communication rather than seeing written communication or even second-hand face-to-face communication. I would suggest, though, that the bulk of refinement would happen outside of whole-team refinement sessions, where some of the team takes a deeper dive into understanding the needs and how the technical solution would need to evolve to support them.

    I'd also suggest retrospectives or some other kind of continuous improvement and reflection activity to look at how the team is working, including how they are refining the work, and find opportunities to improve. Reflection and adapting the team's way of working is a core principle of the agile methods.




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