Epics are the largest units of work in an enterprise, representing significant effort that may take months or years to implement. Unlike projects, they do not include a fixed set of requirements, nor have dedicated teams that execute them in a prescribed fashion. Organizations that embrace a Value-Driven Mindset use clear criteria to make Go/No-Go Decisions on which epics to greenlight for scheduling and staffing.
Go/No-Go Decisions are made in a Portfolio Kanban flow to determine which epics to move to a portfolio backlog after initial review and analysis is complete.1 Inputs to the Go/No-Go process are finalized during an epic analysis stage and include the following for each epic:
- Epic description, including acceptance criteria
- Lightweight business case
- Technical feasibility assessment
- High-level estimate
- Implementation strategy
Epics with a high priority ranking (via Weighted Shortest Job First2 approach, or similar) after the analysis stage in the Portfolio Kanban flow will be selected for Go/No-Go review by a portfolio committee consisting of product management, business stakeholders, technical architects and implementation team representatives. The committee will evaluate epic details and decide whether to greenlight the epic for future implementation or remove it from further consideration.
Epics that are greenlighted will be prioritized in the backlog and considered for future implementation.