Agile Epic Board – Epic Card Template

The Agile Epic Board is a Project and Programme Management tool – that is, in it’s simplest form, a tangible release plan.

Although I use this board to track our development programme across multiple products, teams and sprints, the Epic Board can also be a very useful project management tool.  See The Epic Board – An Essential Project Management Tool.

This concept can work at multiple levels – i.e. a tool to track the delivery of multiple Epics associated with a particular Theme OR the delivery of a number of Stories associated with a particular Epic or Minimum Marketable Feature (“MMF”).  Bear in mind this tool is used to track progress across multiple sprints – sprint specific delivery is tracked using a Task Board.  (See: The Difference Between Agile Themes, Epics and User Stories)

Due to popular demand, I’ve put together a simple, generic, template that you can use to produce an Epic Card and its component parts. Here it is!

Agile Epic Card

Here’s a snippet of the template, which you can download below. Note that it is sized to allow you to stick it to a 5″x8″ index card (if you should so wish!)

Title

This is the title of your Epic – just enough to act as a reminder of what it represents.

Theme

This elaborates upon the higher-level goal/objective to which the Epic contributes.  E.g. If the theme is to Increase Traffic, the Epic could be ‘Launch a Video Section on X site’.

Product Owner

Self-explanatory

Deadline

Some Epics will be deadline-driven, others will not be.

Description

A top-level overview of what this Epic is about – the main outputs etc.  It may include a sketch or dev notes etc.

Effort Points

This is a measure of the relative amount of effort required to deliver this Epic vs. other Epics using Story Points. You may use T-shirt sizing to establish this value. (See: Agile Estimation and the Cone of Uncertainty)

Value Points

This is a measure of the relative amount of value delivered by this Epic vs. other Epics using Value Points – You could also use the T-shirt sizing concept to establish this value. (See:  Value Points – Estimating the Relative Value of a User Story)

Score

In a sense, the point score could be looked upon as the ‘Profit’ delivered by this Epic – it is calculated as follows: Score=Value-Effort

This score helps with prioritisation at a top-level – it is not an exact science, just a useful little tool to drive conversation.

To Do List

This list acts as a reminder of what you need to deliver in order to ‘complete’ the Epic.

We use it in numerous ways – for example:

  1. A list of User Stories (not the full story, just a reminder) required to deliver the Epic.  We then differentiate between the ‘Must-Haves’ and the Nice-to-Haves’ OR we sub-divide by MMF.
  2. A list of products/sites involved in a plugin upgrade – we need to check each off as we test/release/upgrade them.

This template produces an individual card for each item on the To-do list – these cards can then be grouped into sprints on the Epic Board – (See: Introducing the Agile Epic Board – for pictures).

We re-visit this card at the end of each sprint (at the Programme-level planning session/Sprint Review) and check off whatever was completed.

You could also generate a release-level burndown chart off the back of the card without too much trouble. I might offer an upgraded version of this template that allows you to do just that – leave me a comment below to let me know if you’d like this, then subscribe to my RSS feed to be notified when I do.

For a more detailed view (and some photographs) on how to build and use an Epic Board, check out the Agile Epic Board channel on Agile101.

Subscribe to the Agile101 RSS to be notified when I upload new Articles, Videos, Templates and Tips!

Download: Agile Epic Board - Epic Card Template
Download: Agile Epic Board - Epic Card Template

 

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