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Notes from Gerald Mezaros on Concept to Backlog

I was just re-reading Gerald Mezaros of the xunittestpatterns from his pdf of from concept to backlog
and also having a look at his presntation on infoq.

I was using him to think through an approach with a client. These are my notes from a while back.

The client

The current situation is:

– that the product has gone to business case
– there are a list of major features and put into themes
– overall costing/effort estimates
– business staffing/engagement with vendors (skills list)
– end delivery date

We already have:
– existing product (architecture, infrastructure)
– set of tests/test strategy based on the test automation pyramid (fitnesse, selenium, nunit)

There is no:
– is there really a product design?
– release plan
– no user stories
– no story tests/acceptance criteria

– is time going to be an issue with new features?
– will the existing architecture still hold?
– what the introduction of new platform (eg Sitecore)
– integration tests take 15 minutes to run (aka functional tests layer)

Notes from the talk

BDUF vs LRM (last responsible moment)
– making better decision later

Product Envisioning
Product Planning
Product Execution

Elevator Statement (Moore – Crossing the Chasm)

For (target customers)
who are dissatisfied (with current alternatives)
our product is a (new product category)
that provides (key problem-solving capabilities)
unlike (the product alternativ)
we have assembled (key “whole prodct” for features for our specific application)


- just in time analysis so that we don’t have inventory as waste

What have we done in our current project?

Main Features -
– product design (eg screens, data models or messaging protocols – not software design) – barely sufficient to something the customer loves
– product behaviour (featurs and definition of scope)

We have:
– some high level architecture (dotnet, test strategy)
– do we need more of components?

What about a release plan?
– date & features

Do we want use cases are deliverables of the project (yes – current implementation has)

Release Planning: (manage scope to fit budget)
– needing priorities around user stories (allow us some wiggle room)
– we have committed to the features, what about the stories? (that we don’t have)

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