Author: John Parker

Dual-Track Agile

Dual-track scrum, or dual-track agile, is an approach to software development growing in popularity that assumes there are two key tracks for agile product development: Discovery and Delivery, as shown in the diagram below:

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This approach has a lot of merit and can eliminate a lot of frustration and costs in agile development. Often, agile teams have long and frustrating sprint planning meetings because backlog items are not well defined, understood, or validated. This often results in slow velocity and extra development iterations because a basic understanding and design details are worked out during the sprint using code. The amount of waste and rework is very high because backlog items have not been defined and validated properly.

To get around this, some agile coaches have recommended that teams spend 10% of their time grooming the backlog. Some agile coaches even recommend conducting separate meetings for grooming, sometimes referred to as “Story Time” sessions, for the sole purpose of grooming the backlog. An agile project, like other projects, is subject to “scope creep” in the form of user stories that get created but do not really yield substantial value, yet were thought to be “good ideas at the time.”

Another problem is that teams and often product owners are not qualified to assess business value and validate ideas for need. A much better method to