The Backlog

I had one of those "changing the way we work" discussions today, about the product backlog. I'll spare you the details, but it came down to answering two questions: How many of the stories we know about should we have on the product backlog? How many of the stories do »

Planning isn't free

I've got a confession to make: I secretly enjoy rewriting code when requirements change. I get to think again about what I was doing and my assumptions, tidy up the lingering technical debt, make a few performance optimisations and abstract things a little bit so I don't have to worry »


Budgeting in a typical organisation where you have a few teams of full-time developers can be counter-intuitive. The monetary cost is fixed; your developers get the same salary whether they're building products, fighting fires, or goofing around on Facebook. What you're actually budgeting is opportunity: making sure that everyone is »

Why tasking matters

Something I perhaps neglected in my talk about breaking down user stories into tasks is why you'd want to do that. Let me illustrate by analogy. When you're hiking, there's a question you're continually asking: "where am I in relation to where I should be?" The more often you can »

Breaking down user stories

A user story is a short, simple description of a piece of functionality, as told from the perspective of a customer. It's intended to form the basis for a discussion about how to provide business value, and it should be relevant to the customer. "I want to be able to »