Prototyping/Wire-framing and Agile/Lean

Last post 08:33 am April 24, 2014
by Justin Todd
5 replies
05:54 am April 17, 2014


I wanted to get your opinions on the use of prototypes and wire-frames within the Agile and Lean contexts. I find them very useful in showing clients what they have asked for and the expected functionality but I suppose they can also be considered wasteful as they require quite a lot of upfront work and also prescriptive to the Development Team.

Can they co-exist?


06:08 am April 17, 2014

Hi Justin,

Prototyping and wire-framing can be useful however balancing expectations associated to this will be difficult due to some clients wanting the "exact" screen. You also don't want to use software that makes the process of prototyping a long and arduous event.

My advice:

1. Use a piece of simple software like Balsamiq (quick, easy and has click through etc)
2. Add your mockup step to your DoD (definition of done)
3. Manage stakeholder expectations carefully (using the DoD will help)

Go to their website for more info

Hope this helps

06:16 am April 17, 2014

Hi Mandy,

Thanks for the info. I will check it out. Have you heard of PowerStory?

It is a PowerPoint plugin. I also saw storyboard which is another PowerPoint plugin but is part of Visual Studio 2013.

They also look interesting.


05:48 pm April 17, 2014

Hi Justin,

Thanks for the PowerPoint link, I'll definitely go try it out. Let me know how you like Balsamiq :-)


04:31 am April 19, 2014

Hi Justin,
including Mockups in the DoD (and thus in the sprint backlog) is one option.
Another option is to treat a mockup as part of a Product Backlog Item. The Scrum guide states, Product Backlog management includes [...] Ensuring the Development Team understands items in the Product Backlog to the level needed. To my experience, Mockups can help a lot in this purpose for stories that include a UI.
The advantage of this approach is that the PO can manage stakeholder expectations before the item is in the Sprint Backlog. This can lead to less waste and less external dependencies within the sprint (impediments). On the other hand, it can happen that you create mockups for stories which will never be implemented, which is also waste.
To your question, if this is too descriptive, ask the team how they prefer to work together, inspect and adapt.
Oh and Mandy, Balsamiq is great :-)

08:33 am April 24, 2014

Thanks for the feedback all.