Establishing your Agile Development Workflow for Ultimate Efficiency (Scrum/Kanban)

Have you ever had a time when…
  • A user story kept going back and forth between “In Test” and “In Development”?
  • A user story was “Ready for Product Owner Walkthrough” but did not meet the Product Owner's requirements?
  • Your team were unclear of the Acceptance Criteria and Definition of Ready/Done?

Today I want to tackle how to manage expectations with your team and ensure the correct workflow is agreed and in place for your Scrum or Kanban process to avoid rework, risk and failure and most importantly is team contributed.

Team Activity: Establishing a new workflow from scratch:

1. Firstly you will need to start with a basic workflow, I'd recommend starting with a standard workflow such as "To do", "In Progress", "In Test", "Review" and "Done". Depending on which team or industry you are building for this can change dramatically, this can be due to external blockers or different definitions of done.

2. Get the squad together

3. Place the Kanban/Scrum headings on a wall and

4. Come up with an example user story e.g. "Add smiley emoji to homepage of website"

5. With post-it notes spend the next 15-30 minutes brainstorming all of the checklist of 'things' that need to be done before you can transition this user story from one column to the next e.g. "80% unit test coverage"

The team should be able to discuss and debate if a new column is needed and you should start seeing something like this come together...


5. Don't forget to add team check points in the workflow e.g. "Story Kick-off" or "Shoulder Check"

Once the team have agreed on the flow, recap the entire workflow and you will then have something that looks like this...


Not only is this a complete end to end view of what needs to happen from start to finish, your team should now have clarity and agreement in the workflow. It can then become the "Definition of Ready" and "Definition of Done" for your Scrum team. This can also be used for any on-boarding purposes for your future squad members.

Some key tips:
  • Try to keep your workflow as simple as possible that makes the most sense to your team
  • Think about your current challenges, disruptions, blockers, approvals, agreements and your technical architecture to help guide the workflow
  • Make it fun by creating a user story example that is completely ridiculous 😜

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