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8.4. Determining How to Achieve the Next States in Our Story

Smith and his team looked at the next target states and agreed that some prioritization was needed. In this case, they needed to first get to the Way of Working: Working Well state, then the Software System: Usable state, and finally the Requirements: Addressed state. The reason was simple: If their way of working did not work well, this would impede their attempts to get the software system usable. In addition, they agreed on the priority for the missing requirement items necessary to achieve the Requirements: Addressed state.

Smith and his team next discussed what needed to be done to achieve these states (see Table 8-2).

Table 8-2. How the Team Planned to Achieve the Selected Target States

Target State

How They Planned to Achieve Them


Both Dick and Harriet agreed that they had difficulties in applying automated testing. They needed help in order to make progress. Tom agreed that he had to spend time teaching them.

A task was added to the iteration backlog for Tom to conduct training on automated testing for Dick and Harriet.


This state reminds us that the software system must be shown to be of sufficient quality and functionality to be useful to the users. So far, Smith’s team had been testing within its development environment. Now it had to conduct tests within an acceptance test environment, which they had yet to prepare. This resulted in the following task:

Task 2. Prepare acceptance test environment. Smith’s team had to bring all requirement items currently demonstrable in the system to completion. By “complete” they meant that each requirement item must be fully tested within the acceptance test environment.

Task 3. Complete requirement item A: “Browse online and offline”.

Task 4. Complete requirement item B: “Post comment (online and offline)”.

Task 5. Complete requirement item C: “Browse album”.


This state reminds us of the need to work with stakeholders to ensure that they are happy with the system produced. In our story Smith had to work with Angela to determine which additional requirement items needed to be implemented. This resulted in the following additional task:

Task 6: Talk to Angela and agree on additional requirement items, fitting in the iteration, to make the system worth being operational.

By going through the target alpha states, Smith was able to determine a set of objectives and tasks for the next iteration.

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