By Munish Kumar • August 3, 2020

Half Cooked Meal And Half Completed Story

You reached the subway station to board a train to the office. You are yet to have your breakfast. You see a restaurant nearby and go straight and order your food, say your favorite cheeseburger, french fries, and cappuccino. You are in a hurry so you explain the server that you need to board the next train and request if your order can be prioritized.

Train 3

While the food is in preparation, you hear the announcement that your train is about to reach the station in 2 mins. You inquire about your food and get the information that the order is not yet ready.

What will you do?

Maybe, leave the food and board the train. What happens to the amount you paid? Do you request for order cancellation and refund?

Maybe, wait for the food to be ready and board the next train. If you could do so?

Or maybe, take a look at whatever is prepared and accordingly decide. The decision here could be to take whatever is prepared (say just the fries and cappuccino) and board the train. Again, what happens to the amount of the remaining order?

Irrespective of which option you choose, your option may be different from mine. In fact, what you choose for yourself might be different on different days.

In all cases, it is you who has to make a decision.

Is there anything wrong with this? I think, No.

You are paying money for the breakfast.

You know your appetite and how much you can manage without food.

You know best as to how important or less important it is for you to catch this train.

Well, the same is the case with the role of a product owner and a half-completed story. Or, the role of product management and half-completed feature.

Whether there is any value in the half-completed work or now is best known to the PO/PM. Given the context, they are best to make the decision of the completed work and the remaining work.

So, some of the common questions I get asked regularly:

  • If you should consider the story points of the half-completed story/feature or not?
  • If you should get acceptance for the half-completed work and create another story for the remaining work?
  • If you should move the entire story to the next iteration or any future iteration?

Can be referenced back to the example of you standing at the subway, waiting for your meal and train.

Who is best to make the decision and what is the best decision?