Work Break Down for the Agilist

How to break down work in an agile project? Here's a brain dump.

Christian Hujer, Software Crafter and CEO / CTO of Nelkinda Software Craft Private Limited
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by NNelkinda Software Craft Private Limited
Last Modified:
by Christian Hujer
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Figure -1: User Story Card Example

This post is based on my answer [SE:SE:a/263596] to the Programmers StackExchange question "How to break up a programming project into tasks for other developers?" [SE:SE:q/263589].

How to break down work? So you have this big project coming up. No matter whether you're a requirements engineer, project manager, product owner, scrum master, lead developer, architect, team lead, line manager, or whatever, many of us are in a role or situation where we're confronted with the question "how do we split this?". Last but not least to also answer a bunch of other questions: "How much effort is this?" "How much time will it take?" "Can we do it?"

So here's my hit list of how to break down a programming project.

Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
9th Agile Principle

1 Basics

2 What world work break down process

3 Story Breakdown

4 How world realization

Above list is certainly incomplete, and some parts might even be disputable!

If all this scares you, don't worry, because it should scare you! Not as much that it keeps you from doing software, but enough to know that you have to be on your toes if you want to do a good job. Making software development projects in teams successful is not an easy task. And rarely are people trained and educated in this art. If this scares you, your intuition is working properly, listen to it. You want to be prepared. Talk to your boss, get some time and training.

5 Further Reading

5.1 Online

5.2 Books

6 What matters most

All of the above only matters if it is aligned with higher goals. The higher goal is happiness. Customer happiness and team happiness.