Quick notes on handing over knowledge

I recently got asked if I have any examples of things to hand over to a production support team when doing an agile project.

I guess, in fact, it doesn’t matter if you are handing over to someone else or supporting something yourself when you go live.  Either way you want something to refer back to.

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User stories for production support part 2: PAC

I wrote an article on stories for production support teams quite a while ago.  But I always meant to add a couple more.

The problem with production support is that nobody has time to ask for what they want, but it is all urgent and super critical. So the last thing you often feel like doing is to slow down and understand the context that the user is in (annoyed, relaxed, sitting in a cafe, in their most important sales meeting ever etc). Instead the focus is usually on fixing “it” before you know what “it” really is.

But this often leads to rework. So whenever I am doing enhancements I always spend a little time understanding why the enhancement is needed, who it is needed by and when/how it is likely to be used in the real world. To do this though, I think we always need to spend a little time understanding the people who will use the system and why they need something new.

There are many approaches to doing this, but one I often find useful is “PAC” or “People, Activities and Context”.

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User stories for production support (part 1: FAB)

User stories are a great way to focus your requirements around the real needs of your users:

As a user I want to report on the number of users who read articles on my blog so I can see whether a topic is popular or not.

This approach can work really well for a production support team, but sometimes the users are listing issues or bugs, which don’t naturally follow the format. For example:

  • The current report is two slow, it needs to run in less than 30 seconds
  • Can I have the date modified to use Sydney time in Australia rather than GMT
  • The report sometimes crashes when I run it

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