CANCELED: Making Agile Work for Data Teams: Writing Effective PBIs for Data Products

  • Tuesday, January 29, 2019
  • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Arlington Tech Exchange (ATX) | Excella Consulting | 2300 Wilson Blvd, Ste 600, Arlington, VA 20001


  • Members of the IIBA DC Metro Chapter
  • For employees of our Chapter Sponsors: Excella Consulting, North Highland, and Promontory Interfinancial Network
  • Free registration for GWU students


Making Agile Work for Data Teams: Writing Effective Stories/Requirements/PBIs for Data Products


Want to help your data and analytics teams embrace Agile but don't know where to start? Wondering why your data team seems to struggle with creating manageable yet valuable stories? Curious why we think Agile for data teams is a distinct challenge?

This session presents successes and lessons learned from applying alternative story decomposition and writing techniques on several data products across multiple teams. Returning to one of the fundamentals of what makes Agile valuable, namely to obtain feedback on feasibility and end user value as quickly and systematically as possible, our approaches strive to ensure teams have small, independent stories while still maintaining a value focus.

We discuss ways to decouple the technical stack through stubbing and gradual tightening of the Definition of Done. This technique accommodates the necessary foundational work in the background while also obtaining early feedback about the value of the eventual product delivery options. A second approach incorporates Lean Startup concepts and centers on replacing traditional user stories with testable hypothesis statements that allow for explicit experimentation and risk trade-offs towards relevant milestones such as model quality, performance, predictive reliability, etc. in the context of extreme uncertainty.

Join us as we discuss some of the friction Agilists can encounter on data teams, as well as some validated ideas for meaningful solutions.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the inherent differences between standard development projects and data development projects
  • Improve awareness of potential pitfalls when helping data teams break down work into manageable and meaningful increments
  • Become familiar with two alternative techniques for writing Product Backlog increments (PBI) for data teams and when to use them

About our Speakers:  

Clare Stankwitz

Clare works with a data and analytics team to continuously grow mindsets and improve methods around soliciting product feedback often, creating a sustainable flow, and self-organizing to provide frequent value delivery. Twinned with the product-related aspects of agility, she also teaches and mentors the team on the interpersonal dimensions of happy, high-performing teams, such as psychological safety, healthy conflict dynamics, and a culture of frequent person-to-person feedback.

 Mathias Eifert

Mathias is a Lean-Agile pragmatist and coach at Excella with twenty years of public and private sector consulting experience. He has helped clients to improve their teams, systems, and products by implementing Lean and Agile concepts in a variety of roles, including as an Agile Coach, Business Analyst, Solutions Architect, and Process Improvement Engineer. Mathias helps clients discover the power of shortened feedback loops to manage uncertainty, optimize quality and customer experience, and maximize business value. He is particularly focused on coaching organizations to apply Agile and Lean principles to improve their own practices rather than relying solely on acquired process frameworks.  Mathias is a frequent presenter at local user groups and conferences including Agile2017/18, AgileDC, Mile High Agile, Big Apple Scrum Day, Keep Austin Agile, Agile & Beyond, TriAgile, BA World Washington, and the Toronto Agile Community Conference.


6:00 - 6:30 pm   Dinner / Networking

6:30 - 7:30 pm   Presentation

7:30 - 8:00 pm   Q&A / Networking


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