2 weeks after we had the actual meetup, here’s the follow-up post 🙂
Topics this time:
Keynote by me on cynefin and how it fits our company projects. Had some discussion & arguing on applicacy of cynefin when it comes to rough development times, migrations, firefighting-based development. Overall, model was introduced, and the fact-and-experience-based arguments are always the best. Cause we all keep it harsh, true and ironic, when it comes to sharing something you’ve been stuffing bumps on!
Afterwards beer-session was a 3-hour-rant on headhunting of employees by Moscow, Saint-Petersburgh, Europe and States, and that Ufa developers became much more audacious, over the past crisis-driven years (given that there was no crisis in Moscow and the rest of the world). Seems like the raises are imminent, if you want to keep the developer. Headhunting becomes more brutal and sneaky at the same time!
Yet another topic was keeping the valuable professional, when he reaches the limites of intra-company growth, and what is best to offer in those cases.
Overall, meetup gathers momentum and creates a community. We already got bigger guys from the enterprisey-yet-more-or-less-tolerable-sector, few startups on mobile/IoT/PaaS, Banking, Digital 🙂
Small and duct-tapey resolution for the time, when you have an All -> [statusName] JIRA workflow transition.
By default, it results in the following: Default Ticket Screen shows transition from current to current status, among others. So e.g., you have an In Progress ticket, you have the transition to the very same In Progress. To avoid that, use simple conditioning for the transition:
Go to transition Conditions
Click Add New
Select ‘Value Field’ from the given list
Select logical operator ‘doesn’t equal’ / ‘!=’
And put a value in it (name of current status, and the value to be handled as string)
This works in the following way:
Perform Transition (if (Status doesn't equal string('currentStatus') condition is met).
@AtlassianTeam! A good UX would be something like a checkbox, checked by default, and labelled “Don’t show transition option to same status”.
In order to let developer work as productive as possible, management should ensure the following bits related to her work are tackled:
Requirements Fallback – whom to ask
Issue Description & Decomposition
We moved closer to ‘no interruption’ bullet by creating on call teams, that are reacting to whatever urgent issues arise. (hållo to Kniberg’s Scrum from the Trenches 2nd edition – our own way of ‘firefighting teams’!).
However, there was no requirements preparation workflow a while back, so as the features grew more complex, more dependencies were discovered, we faced the inevitable given our product size: scope creeps, miscommunication, conclicting scenarios and inconsistency.
In order to bring all departments that were related to requirements eliciting and approval, we’ve created Product Management flow, which had to be highway to hell to better requirements.
Product Management Flow
We aimed to tackle the following areas by creating a formalized workflow:
Easy to understand sequence of steps
Each step has an accountable person, visible to all participants
Workflow encourages Argumentation and Discussion -> no misinterpreted suggestions and details are hashed out collaboratively
Each step ensures higher quality requirements, by providing criterias to be met on the output
Workflow consists of sequential steps: New Issue -> Discovery -> Sign Off -> Analysis
Ticket is created by trigger from multiple sources (marketing, services, tech, customer support forums,..). During this state, the ticket is relatively empty, providing only the request and source of the request.
Transition: In order to move the issue to the next stage, Product Owner reviews whether we’ll ever do this feature. If no – he closes it. Yes, sometime – he moves the ticket to Backlog. Yes, near-future – he moves it to Preliminary Analysis.
Preliminary Analysis (Discovery)
Step Goal: Product owner should outline Feature goal (what we need to achieve, benefits for our company and customers); describe basic business process (general 1-2 sentenses on how it works among the warehouse, since we’re a warehousing solutions company); and add that to wiki-page for that feature.
Brief feature description
Shipments are a way to track sale items that have been shipped to the customer of the Sale. A Shipment exists in SkuVault once a Tracking Number is assigned by the carrier.We want to provide an ability to connect and save tracking numbers, so that our users can have more visibility and editing right inside the app.
What do we want to achieve
Allow people that use shipping providers that don’t integrate with marketplaces as SkuVault How it works on the warehouse
Goal: Allow clients to label products with tracking number, and see shipments in relation to Sale they are attached to
Picker gets to the QC table
QC performing person takes the product, QCs it and labels the product with shipping label and tracking number
The tracking number is added to the system and can be visible in relation to the sale
User tracks the product via tracking number
Stakeholder Sign Off
Since there’s quite a stream of tickets, we let Stakeholders approve bunch of tickets at a time. Someone might say ‘Hey, isn’t that Product Owner’s responsibility, to approve?’. Well, first of all our product is big and includes different areas and domains: services, marketing, tech, operations – all having their own pursuits respectively, even if we’re moving towards the same goal.
Step Goal: approve the idea, general process and timeline for the feature to be developed.
The next step would be to gather related parties and start..
Analysis is biggest, most collaborative and complex part of the workflow. It involves:
[Business Analysts (creating User Stories)] => [collaborative efforts between BAs / UX / Developers (Wireframing)] <=> [BA / Developers (requirements adjustments, brainstorms, decomposition and clarification)].
Outcome: clear and atomized User Stories with Backend Subtasks with estimates, that give you ability to grasp and plan the feature for development. By you I mean us, Project Managers 🙂
Example: User Story – formalized and easy to grasp description, representing user activity and ability to interact with it.
Precondition: user is on Sale Info page
Before the user clicks a Shipment Tab in the Sale Info page, the hint at the top says “Click a Shipment for Detailed Information”
When the user clicks a Shipment line they see complete Shipment details at the top.
list of fields for Shipments can be seen in Shipments – Plans / Technical Requirements
They can click a button for Shipped Items or Total Cost to see detail for the items.
If a Tracking URL exists for a shipment the user can click it to open the URL in a new tab.
After new tab opens, user is navigated to shipping carrier website with tracking url info
If there is not a tracking url user simple sees “Unknown” instead of the url.
If a Label (ie: PDF) is present, the user can view it in a new tab, or download it by clicking on ‘Download’ button
Post-condition: user is able to see related Shipments info
We got strict rules for creating user stories, technical tasks, support requests and bug reports. This ensures same standards across out task-tracking system (Jira, and properly used Kanban magic) for different issue types, and allows to interpret requirements with the single possible way (which is extremely helpful :).
Right, so in a nutshell, this dramatically increased our requirements quality, and gave us ability to start analysing scope creeps properly, visibility for similar projects and better prognosis. There are things to improve, such as redundancy removal from the requirements, optimizing time spent on the workflow, better communication when estimating client requests – we’re getting closed to that!
one more thing: “oh, author, your flow is redundant for smaller features!”. You’re right, just remove sign off phase and ease analysis to accomodate simple story description for that feature / improvement ;).