The Preparation process

The Developers and testers are working well, (some ironing out of the Build workflow will, of course, be needed). It’s time to switch attention to how issues get to the Build board.

There’s already some kind of backlog of work coming out of design but it’s a bit sporadic, the are some flat designs, a few high-level stories but not much substance for a development team to understand what is required of them.

Working with the team to understand the pressing issues and work on getting them into shape. It’s at this point that I turn back to JIRA to create the workflow.



There are two workflows that I need.

  • Preparation – Getting the designs and stories into shape
  • Planning – Getting stories estimated for Business value and complexity

Starting Preparation workflow

  • Backlog
  • In Progress
  • Done

We have Epics and no stories. So I there’s a need to break them down the ‘In Process’ step.
The ‘In process’ means a few things. First of all, there’s a need for good Epics and then stories for each functional element in the Epic. The first new step in the process is ‘Spec’ short for ‘Write good specs’

Once an issue has a good spec you need to make sure that the designs detail all of the states of a functional story.  If you’re going to need more design in the issues. So add a ‘Design detail’ stage

Amended Preparation workflow

  • Backlog (To be reviewed)
  • Spec (Needs a spec)
  • Design (needs more design)
  • Done

Excellent! Let’s move on… But hold on. How do I know it’s done. Surely it needs reviewing again?!

It does, rather than adding another step, I decide that it still needs to be removed. So once a designer has finished their design it’s moved back to the backlog.
I’m happy with the flow, but the stakeholders need to check things before we move them to Done and we need to make sure each story has a priority.


My only option is to add a status Ready for sign off and as below Final Review

The final preparation board looks like this

  • Backlog (To be reviewed)
  • Spec (Needs a spec)
  • Design (needs more design)
  • Final Review (And set Priority)
  • Done

And we’re ready to move on to planning