Agile Lean Leadership - #6 Specifications Advanced

This course deals with the challenges of reaching a common understanding of specifications and expectations where there is a high content of complex work. It addresses the different patterns and workflows available and the context in which they are deployed. All Team members and stakeholders need an understanding of this process.


Basic specification theory – How can the wishes and requirements of stakeholders be transmitted to team members that will do the work?
- The case for using narratives for specification. User Stories and their practical use. Start with the “why”.
- Reaching common understanding, the importance of verbal communication in this process.
- Adding acceptance criteria, detailed scenarios.
- Relevant metadata – Specifications carry extra information to help determine prioritization and course of action. Discussion of what is relevant.
- A tactile exercise to try specifying a delivery.

Workflows – Specifications need to be thoroughly formulated, refined and reviewed from different perspectives.
- A number of model workflows are presented and discussed to give students a selection to choose from.

Decomposition of specifications – Specifications have to be broken down into manageable sizes so that implementation can be reasonably understood and estimated.
- The Story Map as the backbone of understanding and aggregation of metrics.
- Different patterns for decomposition.
- Minimal user value quality (marketable feature).

Estimation at large – Predictability is always a desired quality. Different methods for estimation of different things.
- Estimation Poker, Magic Estimation, Buy a feature, keeping the references for estimation realistic.
- Uncertainty, impact estimation, cost of delay.
- Complexity estimation, special specifications for experiments and investigations.
- Kano analysis, desirability of qualities.

Visualize and understand – Different ways to illustrate a solution and focus on common understanding.
- Backlog in varying detail, Story map in detail. Storyboarding. Impact mapping.
- Building a high level roadmap to focus everybody.
- State event pattern, ways to illustrate.
- Workflow for preparing specifications for action.

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Nina Alfstad Sæther


+47 480 30 452