Meet the method
Let’s start with the basics. The mindset defined agile, mindset, values and principles — for more info, grab yourself a copy of this article describing the basics.
The critical takeaway and building stones for the Release are Epics, User Stories and Tasks. There are several different ways to group them and arrange them, especially when you design the service or product differently if you design a set of services together. As a designer, you should know:
Release — has been the starting point during which CPO and Design Lead can discuss an amount of work that goes into specific planning. This prevents us from under/overestimating resources and time.
Epic — “is usually described as a large body of work,” in fact, we can look at the epic as a design of specific functionality. For example, Login functionality. Do not misunderstand it for a singular login screen. It is all the design work that goes into login while designing the (Apple, Google, Facebook) UI to login to your brand new APP.
User Story — that leads us to the story that is often described — “as an informal, general explanation of a software feature written from the user perspective.” To break down the log in mentioned above, we need to design several different screens (using components and elements) to fulfil that specific User story.
Task — Within that User story, there are tasks. Historically that’s where all the design tracking happened. Not anymore; let’s see what happens next.
History of design increment
One lousy example: We have designed the app with a button. The complexity of all assigned epics, user stories generated a crossover for our intentions, and three collaborative teams and colleagues generated the workload for fixing the bugs. One of my team members was assigned to fix 76 bugs across 17 tickets and four epics to simply update one specific word. This clearly shows that great intent with a bad chain of command can be counterproductive and absolutely devastating to a poor copywriter.
The challenges around the design increment are still vital to today’s implementation. Design, after all, is a holistic discipline that looks at integration from end to end rather than a singular function perspective.
That’s why we tend to recommend using Kanban for the design delivery–allowing the CPO to track items separately. Equally, it enables the team to work on the increment for more than one day or even one week. This flexibility replaces previously experienced team tensions with flexible and proactive contributions.
Strengthening the unity on the design increment in one place (in this case, JIRA) also allow other team members to visualise their contribution. It inevitably increased collaboration with the development team by more than 20% compared to the supportive or peripheral design team tracking system. In today’s agile world, the design holds its own space and is well recognised as the value generated discipline.