Project Management Office - Walking Skeleton

Mapping out a project and tracking progress

eimagine will meet to map out the project using what is called a Skeleton Map. Our trained, certified project managers will walk through the high-level essentials (The Backbone) and from there map down the user stories by priority. These stories will become the walking skeleton that defines the steps and tasks prioritized for the project.

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The skeleton mapping process creates the product backlog that sprints are derived from. Each product backlog item will have a series of tasks assigned to it.

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During the Kickoff meeting and after each sprint, eimagine works with our clients to create a sprint backlog, pulling features and tasks from the product backlog into each iteration.

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Our internal daily scrum allows the team to voice any problems or blockers they may be having. Beyond updating the project manager on the life of the project, this also opens up dialogue between developers for sharing ideas and solutions.

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Creating a skeleton will ensure every facet of the project is covered and that nothing is missed.

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A recognizable example would be planning a vacation—in this case a vacation to Disney. As a vacationer, there is a set duration of the vacation, a priority list of attractions and parks to experience, and variables that may affect what can and cannot be accomplished.

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This graphic shows the high-level essentials (The Backbone) as the parks to be visited. Beneath that are the “stories”—the attractions, listed by priority, to be visited at each park. As a vacationer, you know the skeleton of the trip (the parks) will not change, but what rides are visited per day might, depending on the outcomes of the “stories.”

For example, if Soarin’ and Mission: Space were closed for repairs and you were only able to visit Test Track, other priorities would be open and could be added to the overall vacation.

A higher priority item would supersede a lower priority item. For example, if lines are long or the weather takes a turn for the worst, Harry Potter would be visited first, knowing the Mummy ride may need to be postponed or shortened.

What is most important is addressing the stories highest in the list first and then working down.

In addition to explicit and defined input during the initial planning process, our project process also allows for significant buy-in and feedback.


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