The development work to produce the product increments is done during regular, repeatable 2-4 week work cycles, known as sprints.

During each sprint, the team develops (analyses, builds, integrates, tests, packages, and releases) a working product ready to be released, concentrating on the most essential functionality as indicated by the product owner, who considers the interests of both customers and stakeholders.

Following the sprint review, the release team (members listed under Release planning) allocates completed product increments to a scheduled release.


The aim of this stage is to:

  • produce the product increment(s) (tested and ready for release).

Sprint reviews

During Alpha, the work outputs are reviewed at the end of a sprint at a sprint review. This ensures the work is completed according to standards documented as part of the definition of done created for the sprint and in accordance with governance processes and the plan of approach agreed in Discover.

Test-driven development

The following cycle for test-driven development is recommended in Accelerate projects.

The development team:

  1. Works with the agency’s test manager to set up the test environment.
  2. Writes an automated (initially failing) test case that defines a desired improvement.
  3. Produces the minimum amount of code or configuration to pass the test.
  4. Refactors the new code to acceptable standards.
  5. Repeats steps 2-4 for each user story in the sprint backlog.

The product owner:

6. Accepts products that have passed their test cases.

Automated test suites are recommended to improve the quality and speed of the testing.



Actions which may be carried out during this stage include:

  1. Develop the product increment(s).
  2. Monitor progress, using sprints, a scrum board, and a burndown chart.
  3. Hold a sprint review to present the product increment(s) to the product owner, for them to check against the definition of done.
  4. Review the sprint, using a sprint retrospective.


The outputs from this stage include:

  • the completed product increment(s)
  • as-built documentation
  • data on team velocity for subsequent planning.

Tools and templates

Tools that may be helpful during this stage include:

  • sprint planning
  • daily stand up meeting (scrum)
  • scrum board
  • definition of 'done'
  • definition of 'ready'
  • burndown chart
  • velocity graph
  • usability testing
  • sprint review
  • sprint retrospective
  • as-built documentation.

These tools and related templates are available on the Accelerate downloads page.


Page last updated: 13/04/2016