An Epic is a new, one-time, initiative that results in a significant improvement for the Customer or the Company. Every team should have at least 1 Epic, but not more than 2 Epics, running at any given point in time.
The life cycle of an epic begins with a Product Owner bringing an Epic to the Meta-Scrum for a Go / No Go decision. If the Epic is agreed to the Product Owner then defines how the Epic will be launched as per the Business Review which is brought back to the Meta-Scrum to get consensus and coordination across all teams as to what is required to complete the launch. Once shipped the Product Owner confirms with the Meta-Scrum that all work as defined in the Business Review is complete and the Product Owner sets when the Measure of Success for the Epic will be validated. On the validation date the Product Owner completes the validation and presents the conclusions to the Meta-Scrum.
The elements of what should, if applicable, be included with each of the stages of an Epic;
- Product Concept Go / No Go
- Business Review Go / No Go
- Launch Review
are defined below and a Google Doc with the following outline is available here.
Product Concept Go / No Go
Problem To Be Solved
- What problem, ideally from the Customer's perspective, are we trying to solve?
How We Measure Success
- How do we measure if we solved the problem? Ideally in the form of one of our key performance indicators - this is not a check mark to say we did what we said we would do
- Include the estimated schedule to complete the epic, the investment, and return on that investment
- Product / Plan pricing or changes to existing
- The Gateway to the product
- Who is the ideal customer profile for the product?
- What is the value proposition to them in the form of;
- What is product X?
- Product X is...
- So why would I use Product X?
- Product X solves the problem you have of … and it will have this impact … on your time, money ...
- The draft product announcement - is the announcement compelling enough to make this worth doing?
- On naming products: https://blog.intercom.com/naming-operator-bot/
- Helpful outlines for writing product announcements: https://blogging-guide.18f.gov/outline-templates/
- Why write a product announcement so early:
- What could we break?
- What customers could be negatively impacted? And how do we mitigate that impact?
- What technical risks do we face? Can we beta the launch to mitigate those risks? Run A/B testing?
- How many customers were interviewed / surveyed to confirm the problem to be solved, jobs to be done and willingness to pay? Who from Support, Customer Success and Sales were interviewed to solicit their feedback?
Jobs To Be Done
- Initial draft of top level jobs to be done to estimate investment
Business Review Go / No Go
- Design / architecture reviewed and agreed to
- A/B testing plan
- Beta release and invite only plan
- Staggered deployment plan
- In-app notification and promotion plan
- Blog post draft
- Landing page plan
- Social media campaign plan
- Outbound promotion plan
- Community post draft
- Help center article draft
- Community banner plan
- “How To” video plan
- Customer training curriculum update overview
- Help center article(s) update overview
- Initial campaign draft
- Drip campaign draft
- Outbound campaign draft
- Listing draft
- Icon / images / videos plan
- Banner plan
- Beta released
- Staggered deployment
- In-app notification implemented
- Blog post released
- Landing page published
- Pricing page updated
- Community post published
- Community banner updated
- Help center article added / updated
- “How To” video published
- Customer training curriculum updated
- Team trained
- Initial campaign launched
- Drip campaign launched
- Team trained
- Outbound campaign launched
- Team trained
- Listing w/ icon, images, videos published
- Banner updated
- Did the epic achieve its intended measure of success?
- What did we learn?
- What improvement we should do next?