Collaborative story progression

Following up from a recent post on kick-offs, here is the further evolution within a similar line of thought. 

In pursuing the path for more interactive and collaborative solution development with agility and leaness, we as a team have implemented another initiative.

Because Information is subject to interpretation, even with kick-offs in place - there is a continuous challenge of adequate expectations management throughout the lifecycle of a piece of work (story). 

After the kick-off, the team members used to go back to their silos and struggle again at the end. 
By taking another baby step of enforcing a rule of collaborative story progression - we are challenging the status quo further.

While being on a journey to develop a solution for each self-contained piece of work - the team gets together and tries to understand what is actually expected as an acceptance criteria and defines the meaning of 'done'. This includes the proxy customer or business analysts, user experience representatives, technical author, developers and test team members. After this intial session, this process continues as the test team members discuss possible failure scenarios with the development team members. The deveopers write automated unit tests while testers capture further test scenarios within reasonable limits of the acceptance criteria. 

In simple words - it is like rowing. A good streamlined start is beneficial, however - it is the continuous team effort that gets us the gold.

With this approach - there are hardly any surprises or last minute changes for a given story.

Try to change this habit of not working in isolation and you will be surprised by the immense benefits in the long run. As any other continuous improvement technique - identification of such a scenario is an effective trigger. Results will be reaped with less rework and more customer expectations that are adequately met. 

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Thank you very much for the insights and suggestions.

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