Once our vision was clear, the next step was to build a backlog.  In agile terminology, a backlog is a list of requirements you need to fulfil to build your product. Each requirement is materialised by user story (US) and is elaborated from a user point of view: the project plans building of the product for the user iteratively. Your final product is then only composed of functions that add value for the user.

I like using the “As …, I want to …, so …” pattern while writing my user stories: it shows the purpose of the US right in its description.

All US have conditions of satisfaction. The conditions of satisfactions are used to qualify the job you have to accomplish on the US: once the conditions are met, you can consider the US as done (and move on to the next one).

We would like to share with you our trip preparation backlog, per season. This is the first part (2012 and 2013).

As you will see in the backlog below, when a US was completed and we started to make use of it (of the functionality)… it lead to create new requirements for the project: new US were added to the backlog.

Let’s start with our first season!

ID User Story Condition of satisfaction Status
1 As a crew member, I want to learn how to sail, so I will be able to decide if I like it or not. Take sailing classes in order to be able to start sailing with the skipper, and see if I like sailing. Done August 2012, extended to July 2013
Pierre giving me sailing lessons was just not an option for the couple.
2 As wanabe-sailors, we want to have sailing licenses, so we know what are the rules that apply to sailing. Pass the tests and obtain a license. Done November 2012
In France, no licenses are required for sail boats. We decided to get one anyway because it’s kind of ridiculous not to learn the basics properly. Also, the license give you the right to use the radio (VHF) on board in the french waters. So, we took the lessons together. Our instructor had the best student and worse student in the same group… no names provided, I let you guess.
3 As a sailor, I want to have my own sailing boat, so I know well how to sail it. Buy a sailing boat, budget and size were fixed Done April 2013
4 As a sailor, I want to sail with an experienced crew on windy days, so I see how the boat reacts Go from Marseille to Corsica in ugly conditions. Done May 2013
This US lead to more US (like #6).
5 As a family on a boat, we want to sail all together, so we know if we enjoy it Experience sailing all together as a family, testing the boat in nice weather. Done July 2013
US #7 and US #8 spawn from this US.
6 As responsible parents, we want to have a 3rd reef in the main sail and a storm jib, so we can deal properly with bad weather. Add a 3rd reef on the main sail. Get a new inner forestay (+ runners) for a storm jib. Done December 2013
3rd reef has been quite useful already. We are lucky and we never had to use the storm jib – for now.
7 As crew members and passengers, we want to sail most of the time (quieter, cleaner and faster than motoring) and to use the main engine as little as possible. Get a bigger front sail (Code 0) for light wind conditions. Done December 2013
We rarely use the engine, even less now that the lightest breeze can make us move.
8 As a sailor, I want to be able to furl the spinnaker the same way I furl the code 0. Adapt the spinnaker to the furler. Get rid of the sock. Done December 2013
Only one system to master to furl them all.
9 As boat passenger, I want to have my basic comfort needs covered (auto-pilot, fridge, etc.), so that I can enjoy sailing in good comfort and security. Have the electrical needs covered without running the main engine. Done December 2013
We installed solar panels and changed a few things on board in order to solve this US. A dedicated post will follow soon!

We are looking forward to hearing from your backlog!

For the following iterations, check here!

2 thoughts on “Sailing backlog (part 1: 2012/2013)

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