Esther Derby put together a nice post on the importance of design for a web site in which she asks, "Are we aiming too low?"
Agile methods manage business risk. They can bring back
enjoyment and pride in work for development teams. For the people who
use our software, they make work life maybe less frustrating, because
the software isn’t buggy, and maybe a little easier because the software
does what it’s supposed to do. But I think we are aiming too low. Can
we also make software a pleasure to use?
Makes me wonder
been working with teams lately on story composition. We've been
discussing how we could break stories down based on value to the
business rather than based on how we technically execute. Our objective
is to be able to deliver value to the business as quickly as possible.
So we want to avoid chunking larger stories out into smaller stories
that are then dependent upon one another for delivery. We've really
achieved nothing other than creating bottlenecks in our flow. We still
have to build the whole thing in order to deliver.
So a common technique we've been using is to break out
aspects of the story that are must have from nice to have. Often, this
ends up being along the seam between functional and sexy. With
functional clearly being must and sexy riding shotgun at best.
Executing on this strategy, we are able to deliver
functionality faster and we haven't any dependencies between the stories
other than the must have need to come first. But this is perfectly
acceptable to the team. Must have should come first.
Are we missing something important?
think we are. I think by consistently breaking the stories down in this
manner, we are cheating the customer. We keep putting features that
make the application nice to use on the back burner. Frequently they
don't get implemented because the next "must haves" bubble to the top of
the queue as the "nice to haves" slowly drop.
But by executing in this manner, we are consistently missing the
opportunity to make the user experience truly pleasurable. We are
focusing too much on utility and not enough on what makes the
application truly desirable.