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Release Map

The Release Map is the one and only artifact in FAST.

The Product Wall is essentially a story map.

It is initially populated with features that are not broken down. When and how they are broken down is up to the tribe and is part of the work in an iteration.

Breaking work down into consumable chunks

User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton
Like everything else in FAST, story break down happens in a "just enough" and "just in time" fashion. Features are broken into large stories (I have avoided the use of the word Epic out of distaste for this term), and then again broken down to smaller and smaller stories to the point of being consumable by a team. An example is :- a story shepherd decides to work on feature or story. The team need to determine what is a sensible "thin slice" chunk of that they can deliver in the iteration with the number of members and skill set in the team room. To this end they will begin the breaking down of stories and stop when they have found the most sensible story that meets these requirements. Quite often this would be the first activity for a team to do before any coding. The stories are posted back to the release map and so the map becomes more and more fragmented and fine grained as the project proceeds. Whether you leave completed stories on the Map and how you indicate not started, in progress and done is for you to decide. I look forward to seeing the experiments, reports and case studies.

Now in a green field project you might need to have an initial seeding exercise to do some breaking down. A one day iteration zero exercise perhaps? Sounds like a good candidate for an experiment...

The features/stories may or may not be sized. I have avoided the sizing debate for as late as possible. FAST can work in a sized/estimated or no-estimate environment. How sizing/estimating works in FAST (should you choose to go this path) is vastly different to common practice. See FAST estimation and Sizing and Flow Rate for more details.

FAST is designed to be lightweight. There is only one artifact (the Story Map) and only one meeting, the FAST meeting to kick off a new iteration.