Getting started with Stories

Posted on November 19th, 2010 in News & Updates, Silver Stories by siddharta || 1 Comment

Yesterday we announced the public beta of Silver Stories. Today we show you the basic workflow involved in getting started with Stories.

Team Agility To Business Agility – Silver Stories Open To Public

Posted on November 18th, 2010 in Agile, Kanban, Lean, News & Updates, Silver Stories, Tools For Agile by siddharta || 1 Comment

We have a big announcement today – Silver Stories is in public beta!

What is Silver Stories?

Silver Stories is a a tool that links stakeholders with development teams.

Most organizations have a gap between the needs of stakeholders and the development teams:

  • Stakeholders think in the “big picture” – of organizational goals, strategic choices and large features. The product backlog requires very small stories that developers can work on. How do you bridge this gap?
  • Teams may be working on different initiatives for different stakeholders. At the same time, some initiatives may be worked on by multiple teams. Development teams would like a picture of their work across multiple organizational initiatives. Stakeholders would like a picture of their initiative across all the teams that are working on it. How do we bridge this gap?
  • As developers work on stories, the progress needs to be linked back up to the big picture. Stakeholders don’t want to know how many stories have been completed, or what the team velocity is. They want to know where they stand against the initiative vision. They want to know if key goals have been met.

Silver Stories bridges these gaps. Silver Stories uses two techniques to enable this: User Story Maps and Enterprise Kanban.

Using User Story Maps, Silver Stories allows stakeholders to define a high level vision, collaboratively decompose them into large chunks of features (Epics) and finally break down the features into stories. It does so in a completely visual environment that allows stakeholders to easily understand what they are building. Silver Stories supports any kind of semantics for the hierarchy. You can use Jeff Patton’s User Activity->User Task->Story breakdown or the traditional Epic->Story breakdown, or anything else.

Enterprise Kanban is then used to flow these stories through a series of steps into one or more team backlogs where developers can work on the stories. As execution continues, the status of stories, epics and the strategic goals are tracked on an end-to-end Kanban board. Stakeholders can, at any time, see where the stories are in the enterprise value stream, which team is working on which story, how many epics are “work in progress” (WIP), which initiative goals have been accomplished and more. Enterprise Kanban enables stakeholders to visualize the high level flow of work, identify bottlenecks and eliminate impediments.

A cross-initiative dashboard allows stakeholders to easily visualize WIP across initiatives and take high level action like reducing the number of epics in progress or re-prioritizing goals to meet the changing strategic objectives of the business. Silver Stories supports marketing and business oriented analysis of the initiative, for instance enabling the use of Kano models to analyze the vision, and make effective decisions regarding priority, release plans and de-scoping decisions. For the first time, businesses have a way to integrate product design, marketing, business strategy and kanban with agile software development.

Joining the Silver Stories Public Beta

Joining the Silver Stories public beta is simple. Just go to the pricing page and click the Request Trial link. Once your trial is setup, you will have access to the beta version of Silver Stories.

Are you a business stakeholder for your IT initiatives? Do you see these problems in your organization? We would love to hear from you!

Silver Stories in Action: Enterprise Kanban Boards

Posted on May 31st, 2010 in Agile, Kanban, Lean, Silver Catalyst, Silver Stories by siddharta || No Comment

Silver Stories has an Enterprise Kanban board to track the flow of MMFs from the story tree. In this screencast we explore the functionality of this board. In the process we show how Silver Catalyst can be linked up to execute upon the backlog created in Silver Stories, and the expand-collapse pattern for enterprise kanban boards.

Silver Stories in Action: Initiative and Team Configurations

Posted on May 29th, 2010 in Kanban, Silver Stories by siddharta || No Comment

Silver Stories allows you to create flexible team configurations. Have multiple initiatives that are executed by the same team? Have one initiative that is executed by multiple teams?

Check out this video to see how you can handle this in Silver Stories

Silver Stories in closed private beta, closed public beta coming soon

Posted on May 27th, 2010 in Silver Stories by siddharta || 1 Comment

Silver Stories, our tool for product owners and stakeholders has now moved into a closed private beta. We will soon be opening it up for a closed public beta.

Would you be interested in running an early access version of Silver Stories through its paces?

Then head over to this form and sign up. Only users who are signed up will have access to the closed beta. Plus, users who participate in the closed beta become eligible for special discounted rates when Silver Stories is launched. What are you waiting for? Get on the list.

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