Agile practices are no more a new kid on the block as businesses have been using them for
better results for many years. We can say that Agile has almost become a standard project
management tool for a wide array of businesses. Agile offers a long list of benefits for most
firms, and the best part about Agile approach is that it’s effortless to implement.
Although Agile was started as a part of the software development process, soon, it became a
new normal for many non-tech firms. Even some peculiar firms in terms of Agile approach, like
the construction firms, are now embracing this fruitful approach in their business process.
But still, there are many misconceptions and confusion regarding the different aspects of Agile,
which is why many firms cannot make the most of their Agile approach implementation. In this
blog post, we are going to discuss one of the most important aspects of Agile practices; Epic.
Keep reading to stay illuminated.
What is an epic?
You can consider epic as a type of bucket that contains all the smaller work items that need to
be completed to satisfy the task. Many people think of epics as a significant user story, but you
must understand that there are distinct differences between epics and stories, and one should
be able to discern between these two.
Here are some of the characteristics of epics that you should know before understanding their
importance in Agile practices.
● Team working with Agile approach use epics in a different way or they completely avoid
● It doesn’t matter which type of Agile framework you are using; an epic can never be
written as a story
● An epic can never be completed in a single sprint
● It is not necessary for epic to have acceptance criteria
● Epic can also act as a placeholder for a specific type of work that is yet not defined
Understanding the importance of epics in Agile practices
You should never underestimate the crucial role played by organizational value epics for the
product backlogs. By listing 15 to 30 backlog items, you are only going to disrupt the overall
planning of the sprint, and this is where epics come into the picture. With the help of epics, the
scrum team can have a bigger picture, and it also offers a more cohesive look at the work.
If high-level product managers want to have an overview of the work in progress, then they can
rely on the Agile epic, and with its help, they can also understand what is coming up in the
In the case of product owners, an Agile epic helps in building a product plan but from the
perspective of the firm. Even the business goals can dictate that the growth work is narrowed on
a specific feature shown by epic. This means that by using epics, product owners can even get
a work ratio, but in this case, it will be offered by multiple epics, not from a single epic.
Product owners can even take a step back from the user story and ensure that every iteration
includes a story from different epics, as this can help keep all the stakeholders satisfied.
How does Agile add value to agile development?
One of the main things you need to understand about the Agile approach is that discovery is
one of its essential parts. But in addition to Agile methods, discovery is a crucial part of product
management as well.
At the initial stage of the process, the teams will build personas, create journey maps, and event
storming. All the actionable outputs of these activities are organized and logged in Jira with the
help of an Agile epic.
And when all those epics are refined at the later stage, they are added as a part of the roadmap,
and then they are used on the Refinement ceremony agenda. The Scrum members must
engage in the exercise of user story mapping during the state of refinement as it helps in
building all the details required for execution by the development team.
It’s evident that epics will never offer a detailed view of the requests and the features from the
product owners, but still, user story creation is incomplete without epics. So, we can say that
epics are an essential part of Agile development, and they should never be avoided.
Even with Agile being used by firms for many years, misconceptions and myths regarding its
different aspects are keeping people away from embracing it. Understanding the element of
epics in Agile can help you use this fruitful process in a much better way, and it can also ease
the process of implementation.