1) Can anyone recommend a resource that correlates Agile terms (Epic, Feature, User Story) with the web development process?

2) I understand the concept of waterfall development, but what is it called if things are done in parallel (that aren't co-dependent) -> "While Jim works on the mockup, Mary is going to gather content, and Charlie is going to setup the test server). Would those tasks be Agile because they are done in parallel?


2 Answers 2


1) Features, Epics, and User Stories are all different sizes of the same thing. For example, in a web application, one feature may be:

"As a user, I'd like to manage my profile."

In that feature, and one Epic may be:

"As a user, I'd like to be able to change my personal information so that I can keep it up-to-date."

And inside that epic, there are a number of user stories and one might be:

"As a user, I'd like to be able to enter my ZIP code and have the city and state auto-populated so that I can enter my information faster."

One of the best resources I can recommend for really getting a handle on user stories (and their larger cousins) is this video by Mike Cohn. It's a bit long, but time well-spent.

2) What you're describing is simply working in parallel (I don't know of any other term for it). Agile development is really more about collaborating between team members and the customers and working in shorter iterations to deliver frequently and validate your work. There's obviously a lot more to it. You can start with the Agile Manifesto, though that doesn't really explain how it's done. The wikipedia page actually has one of the best overviews of agile development I've found online.


Ad 2) It's still pretty much Waterfall. You're more or less on Implementation/Development stage and doing couple of things at the same time doesn't make much of a difference. Difference between Agile and Waterfall approach lays in planning, work schedules and client/team involvement rather than doing your tasks in this or that order.

  • What? No. There is almost no difference between waterfall and Agile planning. We still have product release maps and big buckets and the cone of uncertainty. The difference is absolutely in the stages! Without fast feedback and continual customer review (XP, Scrum et al) there is no agility. You sound like you consider Agile just a "mini-waterfall" which it is not. Jun 2, 2015 at 22:09
  • "Difference between Agile and Waterfall approach lays in planning, work schedules and client/team involvement rather than doing your tasks in this or that order."
    – Piotr
    Jun 3, 2015 at 10:31
  • Planning is different - because you're not only dividing your work into smaller pieces, but also think in terms of sprint / WIP limits; work schedules - again: sprint / WIP limit / iteration; client involvement - you said it yourself and how you work with client is really dependant on working schedules, and so on...
    – Piotr
    Jun 3, 2015 at 10:39
  • There is no Sprint limit other than maintaining sustainable working practices. If the team can produce 20 units of measure in the first Sprint, 30 in the second and 35 in the third then we do not limit how effectively they can work. In Kanban it is the opposite, WIP limits are strictly imposed. Waterfall Release Planning is by and large quite similar to Agile Release Planning the only difference is that Big Up Front design is discouraged and customer feedback is vital to the balance of new feature vs. technical debt Jun 4, 2015 at 8:40

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