Here are three techniques that can transform your agility.
1. Thin Slicing
My favourite explanation of Thin Slicing is Ron Jeffries’ article Getting Small Stories. Read it. Go on, i’ll wait. Thanks to @IanMulvany for sharing it.
His articles Slicing, Estimating, Trimming and Connections are also worth reading.
INVEST is a set of criteria for what makes a good “user story”. It’s surprisingly powerful. I recommend reading my blog post, INVEST: It’s Not What You Think .
3. Identify the bottleneck
If you want your team to be more effective, start by identifying the bottleneck.
There’s a trap though: people often look only at the development part of the process. They look at, “What’s the bottleneck between starting development of feature X, and feature X being done?“.
However, typically the real bottleneck isn’t the development process. Often the real bottleneck is that Feature X doesn’t have an impact (or there was a much simpler way to have the same impact). The Lean Startup movement offers lots of ways to address this.
You could try making the flow of value visible. Kanban is a way of doing this. Just remember to focus on value delivered, not just features delivered!
Next: The Missing Principles