Dual Track Scrum continued

In my last blog, the topic of Dual-Track Scrum (DTS) was brought up.  That was for my initial impressions.  Now this blog covers a deeper dive.  The ideas behind DTS started with Marty Cagan in 2009 and expanded to being supported by Jeff Patton and Aaron Sanders, among others.

Essentially, Dual-Track Scrum follows core Scrum for the delivery path and expands on the idea of a parallel discovery path for better and more thorough product development.

This parallel discovery path has three core tenants.  The results of the discovery path should be:

  1. Valuable – This is determined by the Product Owner and the UX/UI Expert and validated by the end user community as something they would want.  Discovery of valuable features is critical to successful delivery
  2. Usable – This is determined by the UX/UI Expert and the Development Lead.  The interface for the feature should be built in such a manner than it is as simple as possible that the users love, adhering to Lund’s Usability Maxims (see http://www.simonwhatley.co.uk/lunds-expert-ratings-of-usability-maxims)
  3. Feasible – This is determined by the Product Owner and the Development Lead.  Dream big, but make certain it’s something that can be done with the technology available.

The discovery process has been expanded into more details as opposed to backlog grooming.  In Scrum, backlog grooming is an exercise for the Product Owner to work with the Scrum Master and key team members to validate the backlog priority and prepare for upcoming Sprints.  Per the book “Scrum Essentials” by Kenneth Rubin, this is done on an “as needed” basis.

In Dual Track Scrum, these are broken into regular scheduled meetings similar to Sprint Planning and Review meetings and should be held in a similar cadence.  Attendees include the Product Owner, Business Analysts (as needed), the UX/UI lead, the Development Lead and the Scrum Master (optional).

These discovery sessions go into much further detail of discovery that brings the end user feedback along with tools and techniques to bring out more accuracy and detail on ensure the right product is being built and evolved over time.  Arguably, most critical component of delivering software is not whether it was built on time, on budget or even in defined scope, but whether the end users like and even delight in it, to expand its usage far beyond original expectations, which leads to growth and success.

In my next blog, I will review the tools and techniques for the discovery path.

Published by Agile Mike

“Agile Mike” has over 25 years of experience with software development and product leadership. He is published under the “Built for Success” column in CIO.com magazine and held the position of Vice President in the Agile Leadership Network. Michael has taught multiple SAFe courses for over the past three years to over 400 people and is currently an Enterprise Agile Coach at Lean Agile Enterprises and a certified SAFe SPC5, AWS Cloud Architect, Scrum CSP, and PMP.

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