Silver Stories in Action: Story Trees

Posted on May 21st, 2010 in Agile, Kanban, Product design, Silver Stories by siddharta || 2 Comments

In a previous post I introduced the Story Tree functionality of Silver Stories. Here is a video that shows how you can go about creating such story trees.

We had three goals when developing the interaction interface for story trees:

  • Support different feature hierarchies: The video shows how we can use the Story Tree functionality to build a user story map, but you can create any other feature hierarchy too. You use a Theme->Epic->MMF structure? Or Goal->Feature->Story? You can model those too.
  • Keep it visual: We are big believers in visual management, especially in the 10 foot, 3 second rule. We could have shown trees using the regular collapsible tree structure, but you lose all the context as you drill down or roll up the tree. By visually depicting the entire tree at once, you can always view your operations in the context of the entire story tree.
  • Make it fluid: If the story tree is to support collaboration, the interaction had to be fluid. You should be able to create cards and move them around as if you were on a card wall. You can get remote stakeholders on skype conference call, share your desktop, and collaboratively build up the tree in real time as the conversations are happening. You can see that fluidity in action in the video above as we build up a small story tree in only three minutes.

So what do you think of the story tree functionality? We would love to hear your comments below.

The 10 foot, 3 second rule

Posted on May 15th, 2010 in Kanban, Silver Catalyst, Silver Stories, Visual Management by siddharta || 3 Comments

Here is a question for you: How long does it take to identify that you have a problem with your process? A month? A week? A day?

Ideally, you want this information in near real time. A well designed Kanban board can do this if you design it with the 10 foot, 3 second rule in mind.

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User Story Mapping with Silver Stories

Posted on May 7th, 2010 in Agile, Product design, Silver Stories by siddharta || 34 Comments

We recently announced Silver Stories, a tool for agile portfolio management. In this post, I explain some of the problems that we hope to solve with Silver Stories. Click here for the entire series of posts on Silver Stories.

About User Story Mapping

User Story Mapping is a technique popularized by Jeff Patton that allows teams to build up a set of user stories by looking at the software from a user centric point of view. You could say that Story Maps are a combination of user centric design and feature breakdown trees. User Story Mapping is a powerful way to gain an understanding of scope for new product development.

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Business Problem #1: Losing sight of the big picture

Posted on April 14th, 2010 in Agile, Kanban, Silver Stories by siddharta || 1 Comment

We recently announced Silver Stories, a tool for agile portfolio management. In this post, I explain some of the problems that we hope to solve with Silver Stories. Click here for the entire series of posts on Silver Stories.

Losing sight of the big picture

Agile processes advocate breaking stories into small (and in some cases absolutely tiny) chunks of functionality and putting them on the backlog. This is a good idea for enabling frequent deliveries, but it’s terrible for retaining the big picture.

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Silver Stories – The first agile & kanban tool for stakeholder teams

Posted on April 12th, 2010 in Agile, Kanban, News & Updates, Silver Stories by siddharta || 1 Comment

We announced Silver Stories today. Silver Stories it the first tool in the agile and kanban space to target stakeholders. In this blog post, I’ll go through some of the rationale behind the tool, why we are developing it, and a brief explanation of some of the key ideas and features.

First: If you go to the Silver Stories page, you’ll notice a little email box. Enter your email to get all the updates, plus exclusive access to pre-release versions and special discounts on release. So go and do that while I wait :)

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