In simple terms, software is a sequence of instructions created for a computer to execute. It can be hard to visualize this idea, to be able to discuss it with the team and the people you are developing the solution for.
The vision box is a technique where the basic idea is to create a physical or digital box to make it easier to communicate and share the vision that a set of instructions (code) proposes. It contains information about a specific software product and helps the team and the stakeholders get familiar with what is being developed.
It is important to avoid technical terms in this exercise, so that any team member can understand the features and objectives described.
In a physical environment, it is common to create the box using pen and paper, with a three-dimensional object as the final result. However, in this article, I talk about creating it online, so we can bring all the boxes together.
Who takes part in the exercise?
When creating your box, you will need all the people who take part in the project creation, such as developers, QAs, a SM, and a PO, and it is best to have a facilitator to guide the team through the steps (it can be a SM, a developer, etc.).
You can use the picture below as a reference to create your box:
- Contextualization (box 1): give the definition of a vision box, so everyone is on the same page.
- Purpose (box 2): clarify the purpose of carrying out the exercise and creating the box.
- Product information (box 3): include examples of features and attributes.
- Functionality (boxes 4, 5, and 6): use the three sides of the box to prioritize primary and secondary features.
- Feedback (box 7): collect sentiment from participants at the end of the exercise.
By completing steps 4, 5, and 6, you will have defined what to include on each of the sides. At this time it is helpful to know someone who is familiar with image editing, to transfer the collected information to the box on the right (model), creating an image that represents your product. Always take into account the visual identity, like colors and fonts.
Another interesting point is to make the final result visible in all possible places (Wiki, Drive, on a board, etc.), so everyone can have access to the product vision box.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you have already applied this technique, please share your results in the comments. For questions or suggestions, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com.
By Matheus Moreira, Scrum Master.