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The Feature Writing Canvas

The Feature Writing Canvas offers a comprehensive template for the formulation of features to anyone working in a Scaled Agile environment in order to deliver real value to end users.

When to use The Feature Writing Canvas

As a Product Manager, Product Owner or Solution Architect working in a Scaled Agile environment, features are a key element in defining what is implemented. Thus, the quality of the definition of features is key to deliver real value with each feature. And this not only for internal clients (who are often important stakeholders), but first and foremost for the end user.

The Feature Writing Canvas is of use in many ways:

  • As a guide for the Product Manager/Owner to clarify the actual needs when talking to business sponsors / clients

  • For the whole team during a PI Planning session, should questions on the (pre-) defined work to do arise

  • As a compass for inspect & adopt or review & improvement sessions, to check the impact of the way features are described on the delivered outcomes

How does The Feature Writing Canvas work?

You will be guided through three main categories:

  • Beneficiaries: Even if it can be tough to achieve for larger IT projects, it is key to know who the end users of your work will be and resultant to know what their needs are. For this reason, do not only follow the client’s lead on his requirements, but challenge them using the questions in this part of the canvas regarding the end users.

  • Benefit hypothesis: Use as a standard the wording If (proposition), then (benefit) for describing the benefit hypotheses as it describes the value you expect it to deliver. Writing a feature, use this part of the canvas to challenge yourself by asking the added questions.

  • Acceptance criteria: Use part of the canvas to challenge your defined acceptance criteria and relate them to the benefit hypotheses.

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