Piloting projects on Kanban requires projects team to re-think the old way of consuming requirements and move towards a more structured approach. As a start, large scale projects must be decomposed into features that can be managed independently. In a lot of organizations we find requirements in the form of a business requirements document. Usually:
- The requirements are not organized to show the value provided from a user perspective
- There is no priority assigned to the requirements with respect to the other requirements
- Endless discussions with business to finalize and “lock” the scope of the project
We have had great experience using story mapping to help teams address the challenges that often find in a typical business requirement document. We have been integrating story mapping with Kanban to enable teams to start thinking in an agile approach from day 1.
1- Creating features is a collaborative exercise where the project team and business stakeholders list and organize the features in a sequence of events that deliver value from a user perspective.
2- For each of the activities, the features are prioritized with respect to each other.
After the features are prioritized, the team can now start creating MMFs by slicing the map horizontally.
3- The prioritized features and MMFs from the story map can then be used to populate the Kanban board.
The story mapping techniques enables teams to see the bigger picture and the scope of the project. As a result, this technique helps project teams to think about features and releases from a holistic project perspective.