Conduct a technical deep dive

Once the story map structure has been laid out, have all participants stand around the story map and walk through each epic, feature, and story together. This step is incredibly useful to make sure there is alignment and a shared understanding of what each of these elements means.

As part of the review, evaluate the story map through the lens of existing and required technology, aka the “technical deep dive.” Discuss the following:

  • Data: The organization should have the data required to support the features identified during story mapping, in a format and location that is accessible and consumable.
  • Integrations: Certain integrations are necessary for the product to succeed. If applicable, make sure the integration end points are available (e.g., services currently being used) along with the API signatures. Find out who controls the CI/CD pipeline for the integrated systems so that integrations run smoothly.
  • Collaboration: Familiarize the client with software development best practices and ensure they have a disaster recovery plan for the applications. The same is true for DevOps best practices and how effective they are at provisioning environments, instances, and the like. Identify immediately visible risk areas as well as any dependencies on internal teams or third parties with ongoing delivery and/or environment support.
  • Technical risks: Evaluate whether the product relies on tech that requires validation (e.g., augmented reality or artificial intelligence).
  • Technology preferences: Consider the client’s preferences in terms of technology stacks. Make it clear that preferences are not necessarily requirements, and the preferred technologies may not truly be the best choice for the product at hand.
  • Access, security, onboarding: Make sure the means for our team to gain access to the system are clear and available, including any regulatory, security, or other concerns around such access (e.g., whether we are allowed access to production data). Also, familiarize our team with the processes for onboarding new team members (e.g., background checks, applications, procurement systems).

Once technical considerations have been reviewed and agreed upon, the Devbridge team works on an initial architecture diagram. Consider reviewing the diagram as part of day two activities with the client team.

The Secret Source by Aurimas Adomavicius

About the author

Aurimas Adomavicius is the president and co-founder of Devbridge. When not in the trenches working with clients, Aurimas is an active speaker and writer on product design and engineering best practices.