The Iteration Strategy Session

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This meeting includes the customer, the strategist, the project manager, and the design and technical leads. In it we review progress made against the release plan and write stories. The project manager is the primary source of stories in the first five iterations. The tasks done in these early stages are common to most Web projects, so our estimates are better than average.

The purpose of iteration strategy is to assess the business objectives of the customer and to organize future development to best meet them. The strategy session focuses on four main areas: writing stories, estimating stories, the metrics of success, and selecting stories.

Review the Release Plan at each iteration to see how the project is doing and if the plan still reflects the customer's needs.

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Writing Stories

The strategist, the project manager, or the customer comes to the meeting with stories written; alternatively we write them on the spot. Often we write the stories for the first few iterations so that the customer can see the thought process behind them.

Estimating Stories

Once we have stories, the strategy team gives gross estimates, which are in days. Forget about hours; talking about hours is too fine a level of detail for estimating. The smallest increment should be a half day.

Success Metrics

The stories described may function as stated, but that doesn't guarantee business success. Each story or group of stories has associated success metrics that state how we calculate the success or failure of a development effort. Are we looking to generate traffic, increase revenue, change patterns of behavior, or save money? Once we determine the kind of success we are looking for, we quantify this and plan how we will track our results. These tracking methods often end up generating new stories.

Selecting Stories

Once we have estimates, the customer can prioritize the stories and select which ones are to be done in an iteration. Should the customer need to increase the number of stories to more than the iteration will allow, the project manager can, in some cases, enlarge the development team prior to the planning session.

In the first few iterations, the stories are dictated by the order of operations in the graphic design process, the environment setup, and other constraints on the Web development process.

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Extreme Programming for Web Projects
Extreme Programming for Web Projects
ISBN: 0201794276
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 95

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