I was recently in Ghent, Belgium to give public training sessions and a talk at Agile in Belgium. My colleague and friend Jurgen de Smet and I conducted a Certified Scrum Master class, and I launched a new one day intensive course on User Stories, Paper Prototyping, Agile Estimation and Planning. Jurgen did a very nice write up on the class on his blog User stories, paper prototyping, estimation & planning where he outlines the course and his impressions. However he didn’t mention the business case. The business case is the development of a Belgian Beer portal to sell the many hundreds of varieties of Belgian Beer! For those who don’t know lager from ales, the Belgians are world beaters at creating and selling great beer. The largest beer companies in the world are based on Belgium. In fact Budweiser’s parent company was recently bought by the Belgian-Brazilian company InBev, the world’s largest brewer. What has this to do with Agile, Usability and Scrum? Well if you are going to fulfill the business case for supplying large markets with the many niche beers of Belgium, why not use Scrum? It is the fastest way to go from customer need: I am thirsty for a Trappist monk brewed beer, to need fulfilled. Ahhh! that is a fine ale. Of course if you are in Belgium, then a trip to the store is probably a little faster and cheaper. The business case gives participants a specific market and product with its technical and non-technical challenges. The Product Owners need to account not only for the features and the web site but what other things need to be done to get the web site off the ground. The exercise is to recognize the resources are scarce for all the work required, and how do the decisions made in one area, for example fulfillment, impact the site features.
Working on the paper prototype. Here the discussion is about what really is the minimum UI and functionality the portal can enter the market with. Like any web site, there is always more to do… but what can you afford to prove feasibility of the business case? Belgian beer can aid with these agile discussions.
If you are interested in having the User Stories, Paper Prototyping, Agile Estimation and Planning course taught publicly in your area or for your company, please contact me at rdymond atdeletethis innovel.net. I have other business cases that we can use for the same exercises.