Scrum is an agile framework used in software development. It emphasizes on team collaboration and iterative, incremental delivery of the product. In Scrum, an epic is a large user story that can be broken down into smaller, manageable pieces. Let’s dive in to learn more about epics in scrum.
What are Epics?
In Scrum, an epic is a large user story that cannot be completed in a single sprint. It’s too big and complex to be handled by a team in a short sprint time box. Epics are defined in the product backlog, and they are usually items that provide tremendous value to the product but cannot be delivered in one sprint.
How are Epics useful in Scrum?
Epics are critical in Scrum as they allow teams to break down complex user stories into smaller chunks, making them more manageable. Scrum teams can then work on these smaller stories and deliver value incrementally, which is the core principle of Scrum. Epics allow teams to focus on what’s essential, prioritize work items, and deliver value faster.
Differentiating Epics from User Stories
User stories are used to create epics. However, an epic story cannot be completed in a single sprint. User stories, on the other hand, are smaller, more manageable pieces that can be completed in a single sprint. Epics can be broken down into user stories, and each of these user stories should add value to the product.
Why should Epics be broken down into smaller stories?
While an epic story provides significant value, it can be difficult to estimate, plan, and prioritize. Breaking down an epic into smaller stories makes it easier for teams to plan, estimate and prioritize each of the user stories. It also improves visibility of work across the team, making it easy to track progress and ensure alignment with the project’s overall goals.
How to break down Epics?
Breaking down epics into smaller stories involves analyzing and defining the features, user requirements, and associated tasks. Teams can then prioritize the defined stories based on value, complexity, and risk. Breaking down an epic also ensures the team doesn’t miss any critical features, user requirements, or tasks, ensuring they deliver value incrementally.
Avoiding pitfalls when working with Epics
Estimating the size of an epic can be a considerable challenge, as it may require working with stakeholders to understand the objective of the epic. Additionally, disclosing small stories can be overwhelming for team members, leading to a lack of motivation to complete the work. It requires teamwork, collaboration, and continuous communication to ensure teams are aligned and working towards the same goals.
Epics in the Agile Development process
Epics are essential in agile development since they allow teams to focus on delivering value incrementally, allowing room for changes and revisions as the product evolves. They help teams prioritize work objectives and ensure alignment of activities with the product’s overall goals.
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Best practices when working with Epics
To ensure maximum value delivery and efficiency when working with Epics, there are some best practices that teams should follow. These include developing a clear definition of what constitutes an epic, identifying the MVP for each epic, breaking the epic into smaller user stories, prioritizing user stories based on value, complexity, and risk, and ensuring the entire team is aligned and working collaboratively towards a common goal.
Epics are a crucial aspect of agile development and scrum, allowing teams to break down complex user stories into smaller, manageable pieces. By following best practices, teams can ensure efficient delivery of value and maintain alignment with the project’s overall goals. So, it is a must-have knowledge for anyone working with Scrum or Agile development process.