Temp

o there we have it. Stated at the end of the process… Almost the end.
Now that the Developers and testers are working well, done ironing out of the Build workflow will of course be needed. It’s now time to switch attention to how issues get to the Build board.
We already have a 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.
I work with the team to understand the pressing issues and work on getting them in to shape. It’s at this point that I turn back to JIRA to create the workflow.
There are two workflows that I need. 
One is getting the designs and stories into shape (Preparation)

The other is getting them estimated for Business value and complexity. (Planning)
As the issues need attention I work on a ‘Preparation’ workflow.
I start with
Backlog

In Progress

Done.
I notice that we basically have Epic’s and no stories. So I breakdown the ‘In Process’ area.
In process means a few things. First of all I need a good Epic story and then stories for each functional element in the Epic. So my first new step in ‘Spec’ short for ‘Write good specs’ 

Once an issue has a good spec I start noticing that the designs don’t detail all of the states of a functional story. I’m going to need more design in the issues. So I add a ‘Design detail’ stage 
So we now have 
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 want to check things before we move them to Done.
My only option is to add a status Ready for sign off.
So our final preparation board looks like this 
 Backlog (To be reviewed)

Spec (Needs a spec)

Design (needs more design)

Final Review

Done
Now that we have stories that are ready for the developers to estimate. Time for some planning 
The Planning workflow for a project can be as simple as a two horse race.
Is it in this sprint

Is it not in this sprint 
But it’s never a two horse race and there’s many states a story can be in. In a perfect world we’d just take the approach above, as we all we’ll now it’s not a perfect world [insert Trump fact here]
So, what do we need?
Starting off with 
Backlog

Estimated

Hold (not in sprint)

Approved (move to sprint)
As this workflow plays out you’ll come across two situations.
Situation 1. 

The developers aren’t able to estimate a story, they don’t have enough information. What do you do with these stories? The answer is to add a new step in the process
Backlog

Investigate 

Estimated

Hold (not in sprint)

Approved (move to sprint)
Some would say here that we need an investigated step but I’d disagree. Once the developers have investigated it it can be move back to backlog
Situation 2
There isn’t a good clear spec or enough designs of an story or it needs breaking down. If this is the case then we need to go away, get the information and present back to the developers. Our planning workflow now looks like this.
Backlog

Investigate

Incomplete (needs more information)

Estimated

Hold (not in sprint)

Approved (move to sprint)
Again we don’t need a column for ‘complete’ as it should be move back to Backlog ready for the next developer review meeting 
There you go. Once stories are moved to Approved they are ready to be moved in to the Build sprint workflow
Design
Not all designers like to work in a structured manner but in software development we need this. And to be frank most designers that have entered digital design know this.
How do we add structure to the design workflow. This one for me is pretty clear.
Design backlog

In progress

Review

Done
A questions cones as to what happens in the review step. You have a few options. Add steps for Amends and Final review or when it’s reviewed and requires more work or amends then it is simply moved back to the backlog. I prefer this as its clean.
Another question is when and how do the developers review it?! Now some would shy away from getting the developers to check here. For many reasons I’d include them
1. They’ll feel part of the team

2. They have the best knowledge of what’s possible on a platform 

3. The will think about things you’ve not considered

4. There will be less to talk about when they estimate the work later
Do we add a step? You don’t have to but I personally feel it’s very powerful and it follows the same rules that if a story needs more work then it goes to backlog. If the developer needs to investigate something then it stays in Tech review until she has done her investigation.
So our final design workflow looks like this 
Design backlog

In progress

Review

Tech review

Done
Concepts
Those who work in UX, UI design are usually very structured so they jump on to a good workflow like a snake on a baby iguana. 
How do we add structure to the concept workflow. This one for me is pretty clear.
Concept backlog

In progress

Review

Done
A questions cones as to what happens in the review step. You have a few options. Add steps for Amends and Final review or when it’s reviewed and requires more work or amends then it is simply moved back to the backlog. I prefer this as its clean.
Another question is when and how do the developers review it?! Now some would shy away from getting the developers to check here. For many reasons I’d include them
1. They’ll feel part of the team

2. They have the best knowledge of what’s possible on a platform 

3. The will think about things you’ve not considered

4. There will be less to talk about when they estimate the work later
Do we add a step? You don’t have to but I personally feel it’s very powerful and it follows the same rules that if a story needs more work then it goes to backlog. If the developer needs to investigate something then it stays in Tech review until she has done her investigation.
So our final design workflow looks like this 
Concept backlog

In progress

Review

Tech review

Done
Now on to the Design workflow 
Ideas
Do we need to put structure around ideas. The short answer is no. But if you’re using JIRA for the rest of your workflow then it’s great start the process off here and it’ll give you a space to keep all of those ideas that pop into your head at 3am in the morning.
It’s a pretty simple workflow
New idea

Back burner (put it on ice)

To do later

To do soon

Research 

Done 
What is the research? Every idea needs to be fleshed out
Is it a good idea?

What are others doing in this space?

Does it fit with our product?

Is there something out there that can help us to get up Market quicker? 
Once we know this and it’s been decided that it’s a good idea to move to the concepts workflow.

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