Here at Integrum we often have our clients ask us “… What do you mean Story Workshop?” when we explain our estimation process with them. Rather than having the client hand us a huge document to explain their project we use the Story Workshop Method.
The best analogy to this is a movie and its storyboards. The director and writers of the movie get together and sketch out what each scene will roughly look like before they ever get to shooting. This allows them to place the visual reminders in the storyboards of what the key elements for each scene are going to be. When it comes time to shoot the movie, these storyboards start the process, then the actors, directors, and set designers make adjustments or even wholesale changes based off of the reality of the scene’s already shot; move this table over, add more blood, louder zombies, or whatever is needed to fit the reality of the movie and how it has grown.
We treat our client software in much the same way. We talk through the application at a high level with the client to really suss out the details of what they want their app to accomplish. Then using our itterative methods, we take those stories we write and use them as talking points to make the scene real; move this button 10 pixels left, make the logo bigger, the user should be able to flow more like this through the screens, etc.
Until you see the software (movie) pieces already built (scenes already shot), you won’t know exactly what you want the next part to look like. This gives our clients the best chance to build what they REALLY want in relation to the ever changing world around them.