Adding an Epic to a sprint

Hi All, 

I'm fairly new to agile / scrum development and i'd like to know why it would not make sense for an Epic to be added to a sprint. In my head, this seems to make sense but I'd really like someone to confirm or correct my logic, A sprint is to be linked to a smaller, more granular, unit(if you will) of work  a story. Those stories are then to be linked to the larger, broader scale Epics. but is it merely the nature of sprints, a short iteration of work, that makes linking Epics to them not viable?

 

Thanks, 

CAM

1 answer

1 accepted

2 votes

In the basic theory, Epics are huge overarching pieces of work that are likely to rattle on for quite some time.  They're not really items you work on directly, they're more for grouping stories and tasks together so you can plan.

Stories should be completed within a sprint, and the whole of Agile works on the basis that you plan to do work that you can fit into a sprint (if you fail, that should indicate a problem).  It's very rare that you'd put an Epic into a sprint explicitly, and doing it would suggest it's actually small enough to be a story, rather than an Epic.  You're supposed to break Epics up into stories and work on them, not the Epic directly.

Thanks Nic! That makes perfect sense to me, and is precisely the direction I was leaning in :). I guess I just loosely thinking in OO concepts, In the documentation they state Epics are just larger user stories, which made be think you can have Epics of Epics :D. Thanks again.

I'd like to see Epic of Epics supported better, it's quite useful (although it doesn't need to be anything more than a logical grouping/link)

Nic is exactly right. I would just add that, generally speaking, when it comes time to work on stories in a sprint you want to break them down to be very small. For example, if you have a 2 week sprint and you have a single story that the team feels could be completed in the sprint, you'll be better off breaking that down into many smaller stories so pieces of it will be completed throughout the sprint even if it could be done as a single story. You'll get working software sooner in the sprint, be able to evaluate your progress better, and have more freedom to adjust for the unexpected.

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