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Understanding agile story preparation for RDT's insurance software delivery

All about Agile – story preparation

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Here at RDT we use scrum as our project management framework. Our teams work in two-week sprint cycles in which they have a number of key meetings. Let’s take a closer look at some of these key meetings.

We create “user stories” to represent our clients’ needs. This helps us focus on the target users and what they’ll need, and the value that will be achieved by delivering the particular tranche of work we’re about to start on.

Product owners are the link between our development team and our clients, and they work with the clients to find out what they need, either on a one-to-one basis or through workshops, depending on the scale of what’s needed.

During the “story preparation” meeting the product owner takes what they’ve learned from the client to the team for discussion and analysis. The team will ask a number of questions to help understand how they are going to solve the user story.

The ideal outcome of this meeting is that the team gets a clear picture of the client’s needs – referred to as “a well understood requirement”, that they will already have some design ideas for that can be taken to the sprint planning meeting. However if the requirement is not well understood we may have to go back to our client for further discussions.

The teams need a regular flow of work and so the process of story preparation is continual. Once we have agreed user stories, these form part of a prioritised product backlog.