Product development teams move through their development iterations following these key team meetings.
Iteration planning meetings are held at the start of each new iteration to review the goal for the new iteration, estimate all required stories to complete the goal, and kick-off the iteration. The goal for the new iteration will reflect the client’s highest priority requirement of new product functionality and will have been broken down by the Product Owner before the iteration planning meeting.
During the meeting, the goal will be presented to the team, with the team all discussing and estimating each user story required to complete the goal. The team will all ensure that they have a shared understanding of the intended functionality of each user story for the upcoming iteration. Once all user stories have been discussed and estimated for the new iteration goal the meeting can end and the new iteration will begin.
The product backlog is the prioritized list of project work for the development team. The product backlog is a reflection of the product roadmap and all of the product requirements. The product backlog is filled with a mix of user stories for feature development, chores for tasks that provide value to the product or team though not the user, and defects for any discovered issues. The most important items are shown at the top of the product backlog so the team knows what to deliver first.
One of the most common causes of software development failure is unclear requirements and the different interpretations of these requirements by different members of the team. The backlog grooming meeting is a time when the backlog items are discussed, reviewed, and prioritized by product owners, and the rest of the team. The primary goal of backlog grooming is to keep the backlog up-to-date and ensure that necessary backlog items are prepared for upcoming iterations.
Retrospectives are a time to look back on our most recent period of work as a team. Retrospectives help us to continuously reflect on and improve our process by sharing both successes and failures, working to maximize our successes and minimize our failures through iterative improvements. Retrospectives help to ensure all team members feel heard, generate conversations, celebrate victories, surface issues, and find actionable solutions.
What are we trying to get from a retrospective?
Retrospectives help to highlight all aspects of our process and the positives and negatives experienced by each member of the team. “What device issues may people be experiencing? Does someone not understand the goal of the project? Is part of our process not working? Is part of the process amazing and can we ensure we focus on it?”
The outcome of a retrospective should be a grown shared understanding as a team of what we are working on, our process, our highs and lows, and hopefully some actionable items to help improve the process and overall happiness of the team.
At the end of every iteration, the team delivers a potentially shippable increment of the product. The Iteration Review meetings are a time for the team to review the most recent iteration and demo the new potentially shippable increment of the product for the client and stakeholders.
During the demo, the team will walk through all of the functionality they were able to accomplish during the iteration. The features completed will be assessed against the planned iteration goal to see if the goal was met.