Developing Epics For Product Owners

The term ‘epic’ in agile refers to a large user story that has not yet been defined in detail. Typically, an epic will cover a single business process that must be fully completed as a whole for the business value to be realized. These user stories are described as epics because they will require refining over multiple cycles before they can be considered done.

How to Use Epics

The use of epics is very helpful to the Product Owner because it means that they can describe and note down the high-level functionality of the user story, but they do not have to dive into the detail yet. The Product Owner will initially use the epic as a container to broadly capture the requirement and will add this as an item in the Product Backlog. It acts as a placeholder until it is turned into a group of fully formed user stories at a later stage.

Epics will always be placed lower down in priority in the Product Backlog by the Product Owner. The reason for this is that, as soon as they become high priority items, the first step will be to break the epic down into user stories that are of a size that can be delivered within a sprint. Because of this, the Product Backlog is sometimes referred to as having the shape of an iceberg, with the larger epics at the bottom and the most granular and well-refined stories at the top. Both epics and user stories can be divided up into smaller pieces of work, and this hierarchy can be stretched to whatever level is necessary and makes sense. In other words, larger epics can be split into smaller epics, and these are then split into stories, which can be further refined into smaller stories, and so on.

Techniques for Collecting Epics

There are a number of methods that can be used to pull together the information that is needed to define epics and the subsequent collection of broken down user stories. Some of these methods are described below.

59 Seconds Agile - Developing Epics

59 Seconds Agile – Developing Epics

Interviews

Interviews tend to be the default technique used to collect user story requirements. However, while this is one of the more common methods, it takes a certain amount of skill to be able to use this process effectively. The reason for this is that the users themselves are not normally very clear about what they need. In order to clarify exactly which features would help them to simplify their tasks, the Product Owner must be adept at asking the right questions and following up with more context-specific inquiries, while at the same time being careful to keep the query open-ended enough to tease out any important pieces of information.

Observations

A good way for the Product Owner to understand how users use a system, and to find out what changes they need, is to watch them using it. This can be done either by simply going along to their workspace and observing them while they perform their daily tasks, or actually asking them to demonstrate how they would carry out a specific function. Both these techniques can provide valuable insight into the actions that a user will take, and can sometimes uncover scenarios that would otherwise have potentially remained hidden.  

Prev <— Continue Reading —> Next

Our Favourite Agile Books

Read Our Reviews

Learn More about the Scrum Product Owner

The History of Agile For Product Owners

Agile project delivery principles evolved because industry leaders recognized that the linear nature of waterfall delivery created long windows of time between gathering requirements and delivering working software…

Read More

What is Agile to the Product Owners?

While traditional project management is still widely used, the benefits of an Agile approach to running a project are becoming more and more recognized. Where Agile has a distinct advantage over classic project management is the development of new products…

Read More

Why Use Agile as a Product Owners?

When determining if a move to Agile is right, a PESTLE can be used to simplify what factors should be considered. While Agile is sometimes thought of as a software development project management method, it isn’t just for these types of technology-centric companies…

Read More

59 Seconds Agile - Scrum Product Owner Training Course

59 Seconds Agile – Scrum Product Owner Training Course

The Agile Manifesto For Product Owners

Agile is a quick, simple, lightweight and effective way of managing projects. In traditional project management models…

Read More

The Agile Principles For Product Owners

When the Agile Manifesto was drawn up in 2001, it embodied four values and twelve principles that signaled a new approach to…

Read More

The Agile Fundamentals For Product Owners

Thinking of becoming a Scrum Master? Or are you already one, but you’re still new to the job? No matter what level of experience…

Read More

The Declaration of Interdependence For Product Owners

The Declaration of Interdependence establishes that all members, stakeholders, and customers are interdependent and…

Read More

The Agile Frameworks For Product Owners

There are many different Agile frameworks – all of them share the same philosophy and are built around the Agile Manifesto and Principles. But they vastly differ in their approaches, values, and structure. …

Read More

The Scrum Framework For Product Owners

The Agile Scrum framework is designed to deliver products and projects of any size. This includes projects, programs, and portfolios. Scrum provides guidelines on delivery techniques, events, and roles. Many of the same ceremonies are held within both a standard Agile scrum project and an Agile Scrum…

Read More

The Scrum Roles For Product Owners

Scrum is a useful tool for the creation, maintenance, plan, and execution of diverse products and services. The tool consists of…

Read More

59 Seconds Agile – Scrum Product Owner Training Course

59 Seconds Agile – Scrum Product Owner Training Course

The Scrum Team Size For Product Owners

The basics of Scrum can be easy but implementing them and succeeding with Scrum can be infinitely harder. Scrum …

Read More

The Agile Project Vision For Product Owners

At the heart of any great product is a great vision. It describes the primary goal or goals of a product and creates a focus that…

Read More

Forming the Scrum Team For Product Owners

Scrum is a framework that encourages delivery of potentially shippable product increments every 2-6 weeks. The work is…

Read More

Developing Epics For Product Owners

The term ‘epic’ in agile refers to a large user story that has not yet been defined in detail. Typically, an epic will cover a single…

Read More

The Agile Product Backlog For Product Owners

A Product Backlog is an organized collection of the existing User Stories (aka Wants and Needs) for an explicit business endeavor. Think of a shopping catalog of User Stories, ordered by urgency, that can be perused and selected from to determine what will be worked on during the current…

Read More

Release Planning For Product Owners

Although flexibility and adaptability are part and parcel of an agile methodology, this does not mean that no planning is required when…

Read More

Creating User Stories For Product Owners

User Stories are an integral part of the agile development process. They are an important agile technique that is used to frame…

Read More

Estimating User Stories For Product Owners

One of the principles of self-managing teams in Agile Scrum is working collaboratively with the Product Owner to effectively deliver…

Read More

Creating Tasks For Product Owners

According to The Agile Manifesto: “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.” As a…

Read More

Estimating Agile Tasks For Product Owners

In Scrum, a list of user stories is produced and put together to form a product backlog, and each of these user stories will need to…

Read More

Creating the Sprint Backlog For Product Owners

The Sprint Backlog is defined as a group of user stories that are grouped together during the Sprint Planning Meeting.  This…

Read More

Creating the Deliverables For Product Owners

Agile Scrum provides the framework for delivery of the vision of an organization. Execution of the vision includes processes, ceremonies and project deliverables that are also known as artifacts…

Read More

The Daily Stand-Up For Product Owners

The daily scrum is an opportunity for developers or anyone committed to working in the sprint to talk to each other to make sure the…

Read More

Product Backlog Prioritisation For Product Owners

The product backlog is a key element of Agile software development. It facilitates a development environment that creates valuable features and products for stakeholders…

Read More

The Sprint Review Meeting For Product Owners

The Sprint Review meeting comes at the end of the sprint and the goal of this meeting is to have key people in the room to be able …

Read More

Demonstrating and Validating the Sprint For Product Owners

As organizations migrate to Agile principles, there may be questions about how the organization can prove that there is value…

Read More

The Sprint Retrospective For Product Owners

A very simple step by step guide to help you choose the appropriate product development methodology from…

Read More

Releasing the Product For Product Owners

One of the most important milestones any project will ever have is finally releasing their product and putting it out there. It’s the…

Read More

Regression Testing For Product Owners

In companies using agile development, it is common to introduce changes in a product incrementally. Along with the new changes, unexpected issues may arise, testing whether the existing functionality is broken or not becomes very important…

Read More

Scrum Master

Find out more about the Agile and the Developer Role

Read More

Product Owners

Find out more about the Agile and the Product Owner Role

Read More

Developers

Find out more about the Agile and the Developer Role

Read More

More Articles

Read More

  Chicken Appreciation Society

Share
Translate »