Introduction to Agile Epic
The following article provides an outline for Agile Epic. Agile Epics are defined as phenomena or concept which is used to organize the work and the work hierarchy. In Epic, a larger module is fragmented into smaller modules or segments so that a large project can be completed easily and delivered to the clients or the stakeholders on time as per the contract or tender. A large product is divided into smaller pieces which are called stories based on the end-user request. Epics help the team to break down their work or a larger chunk of the project but allowing the team to work continuously towards achieving their common objective.
Epic is a set of requirements that together deliver greater business value and touch the same portion of the product, either functional or logical. Epics comprise multiple teams on multiple projects and can even be trained on multiple scrum boards. The agile epics are more preferably distributed over a set of sprints. The market needs and customer demands are top +priorities while developing the epic and the mentioned two factors are at the peak of any organization’s goal.
Understanding the Basic Terms and Concepts Used while Creating An Agile Epic
- Stories/User Stories: The stories are also called user stories, which are the end-user demands or requirements. An epic is divided into smaller stories based on the customer requirement.
- Features: A feature is defined as large functionality responsible for delivering values like revenue, customer engagement, customer satisfaction, etc., to the business. A feature can consist of multiple themes and user stories.
- Initiatives: Initiatives are defined as a pool of epics with a common objective that drives the teams working in the organization.
- Themes: Themes can be defined as the goals of an organization. These themes are primary areas to be emphasized upon to achieve the organization’s goals.
How is an Agile Epic Created?
Creating an epic is a pedestal and complicated task which encompasses certain pivotal steps. It is best to create epic during the quarterly achievement of the agile team.
The following points must be considered while creating an agile epic:
- Recording/Reporting: Reporting in the epic is all about drafting the agile epic for project managers and team associates to keep track of the project.
- Description: The description step is about describing the process or mechanism of achieving the current or proposed state of the project/product. It comprises all the stories of the epic.
- Epic Culture: This determines the size of the epic team based on the organization’s culture.
- Timeframe/Timeline: It is clear from the name itself that time must adhere. It is important to deliver to finish the stories of the proposed agile epic on time. It should neither take too long nor too short a time to complete the epic.
Merits of Creating an Epic
- A hefty chunk of the project is broken into smaller stories which is helpful while achieving the organizational goals. Breaking the project into smaller stories makes it convenient to work upon.
- Epics are great for tracking the project progress or the complex features of the project as the project is divided into several smaller modules or sprints.
- Epics are helpful for tracking multi-project and multiple teams without hampering or affecting the work of any. It simplifies the mechanism of handling the project by distributing the task evenly and as per the priorities.
- Epics are extremely helpful while tracking large ideas in backlog refinement. It eliminates or helps to reduce the unnecessary multiple items from the product backlog.
- The agile epics is a great help to reduce ambiguity in ideas and to memorize or pinpoint an ambiguous idea with a product backlog item until the outcome of the product is identified by the agile team members.
- Epics help to conceptualize and establish a hierarchy for achieving the desired outcome initiating from the core idea of the project.
- It helps to limit the story size within the sprint management quarters to avoid any obstacle or hindrance.
Common Mistakes/Drawbacks made During Epic Management
- The epic teams tend to overcomplicate the epics as they visualize the epic as a large number of stories which is purely their misconception.
- The ambiguity between the ideas and sometimes the complex mechanism creates complications between the spics and stories and confuses them with the product backlogs, which ultimately affects the epic hierarchy. This makes the story and epic tracking a complicated task.
- The ambiguity of ideas creates a great deal of uncertainty and waste of useful estimates as the items are unclear due to haziness.
- The haziness of ideas results in vague effort in the form of whether something is an epic or a user story and time spent tracking information about a backlog item that is intended to be a placeholder for future discussions.
The easiest thing that can be done to get rid of this ambiguity is to share and communicate a clear understanding of the product, goal, and motive of the project so that the whole team is on the same pace and same ground of work. When there is no confusion about the product ideas and the project, there will be no ambiguity and no wasted efforts. Backlog refinement is necessary to prevent any product backlog so that no time is wasted in categorizing and documenting the backlog. The approach must be outcome concentrated rather than fascinating about the different numerous ways of representing the ideas.
Epic is a great mechanism to monitor the project progress comprising complex features. Epic plays the role of a placeholder which can hold multiple stories with a common objective and stories with a specific scope. The epics are divided into several stories or sprints, and few sprints together complete one epic. The project progress can be easily monitored by calculating the completion percentage of the stories which is performed by the client or the stakeholder. In a nutshell, epic plays a key role in agile project management during the planning phase as it helps to achieve the desired business goals. Dividing the hefty chunk of the project into smaller stories helps the team to focus on the important areas based on the urgency of the stakeholder.
This has been a guide to Agile Epic. Here we discussed the concepts, merits, common drawback, and understanding of agile epic. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –
- Agile Development Model
- What is Agile Programming
- What is Agile and Scrum
- Agile Coach Interview Questions