Working in the Finance industry means that quite often I come across User Stories that have a time constraint to them. It’s quite common that when the financial year approaches several applications need updating due to compliance and governance regulations. How do you highlight these items in the team backlog so that they are dealt with in a timely manner?
In “Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories” by David Evans and Gojko Adzic they suggest using “Best Before” dates. This is a really simple but effective idea that we’ve been using to make time constrained User Stories stand out in the backlog so that the Product Owner or Development Team can spot these during refinement sessions.
All we do is put a due date in the PBI title that is a few weeks ahead of when the work is required. Sometimes we’ll have two PBIs; one to do the work and another that has a specific due date to put the change into Production. Easy!
So start using “Best Before” dates on your time constrained User Stories.