Project Management

Do You Have a Good Intake Process?

Bart has been in ecommerce for over 20 years, and can't imagine a better job to have. He is interested in all things agile, or anything new to learn.

The agile framework has a concept for user stories called the “definition of ready.” A user story that is “ready” has everything that the development team needs to know in order to size, scope and begin development, and is actionable right away. Teams will have different criteria for this definition, and they are free to decide for themselves how complete, or how incomplete, the requirements, design and other items are before they accept a story either into their backlog or into a sprint. This definition sets the minimum bar for when work is said to be understood; if a request is still below that level, it needs more refinement or more consideration. While most stories get this kind of evaluation, too often, we don’t hold new project requests to the same rigor. This can mean we accept projects that aren’t thought out, aren’t clear, or have no real understanding of what success would look like. A good intake process can help ensure that this situation doesn’t hinder your development team.

Many organizations understandably put heavy emphasis on project execution. Taking a set of requirements and turning them into a product that creates business and customer value is a complicated undertaking, and even small improvements in implementation can yield outsized benefits. But It is important to look at project intake as a part of the overall delivery process. Many project managers …

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"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

- Orson Welles, The Third Man