Inspired by Jonathan Rasmusson, author of The Agile Samurai, at the beginning of the project, we would perform a project kick-off to produce an Inception Deck, intended to align all stakeholders.  The elements covered in the inception deck would be our guide throughout the project and include topics such as:

  • What are we here? What is the raison d'ê·tre?  What is driving this effort?
  • What is the elevator pitch: target audience, for what purpose, to solve what problem?
  • What are we not going to do? What is outside of the scope of this project?
  • Who are our neighbors? What systems will we need to integrate? Who will we need to deal with?
  • What does the solution look like? What other systems out there have similar features?
  • What are the biggest problems that recur most frequently that are causing us problems?
  • How big is this thing? How many people affected by it? How many months of work?

This inception deck will help us prioritize Epics and User Stories down the road as we decide what goes into a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), what is absolutely required versus nice to have.