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New Post 5/30/2022 7:08 AM
User is offline Stewart F
119 posts
7th Level Poster

3 Amigo's Sessions 

I've just hired a new Senior BA for my team. One of the reasons I chose them was that he had lots of different ideas for running Agile based ceremonies and I thought it mught be good to incorporate some of them into the team that i run. 

One of those ceremonies is the 3 Amigos session. We currently hold them - one for every User Story and it is more a validation exercise for what the BA has written, than being a team discussion about upcoming work. I'm not convienced that is the best way we should be conducting them. 

For those of you who may not have heard or been involved in one of these, a 3 AMigos session involve 3 key people in the Squad or Team involved in your project. Usually it is the BA, a developer and a tester. A fourth amigo - usually a deisgner is often invited as well, depending on the User Story/Project. 

The session involves havng the User Story in front of everyone and talking through and refining its goals, Acceptence Criteria and how it potentially will be acheived. The small group talk through each AC until everyone is agreed and the Story can be moved forward to the Design team or Developers - again, depending on what the User Story is for. 

An Amigos session should really be no more than 10 minutes per User Story - but in reality it has no time limit and, if there is a lot ot discuss, the Story may need more refining/re-writing. 

The Question

My question is this though - how do you think they are best run - I'm curious to see what other ways people on this forum have to run a 3 Amigos and how they run it. Some exmples of potential questions:

a. Do you fully write the User Story first as the BA, and then discuss in the session OR do you start with the bare bones and add whatever is discussed?

b. Do you add new requirements in the session, or take them away for further analysis? 

c. How many times will you re-do an Amigos session for one User Story - do you have a limit?

This is more for an open discussion and to see what other peoples ideas are - their problems, stories or past issues with 3 Amigos etc.

New Post 6/4/2022 5:32 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
764 posts
3rd Level Poster

Re: 3 Amigo's Sessions 

Hi Stewart,

The Three Amigos Session is an interesting concept and I am sure it's useful in certain circumstances.

As a general approach - it is a good and valueable exercise.  I do have some comments though:

  • This approach assumes that somebody (or everone) of the three amigos have great grasp of the business domain and the business need/requirements.  This is rarely the case, therefore there would need to be business SMEs in these sessions, not too many but some key stakeholders who understand the need and the business so that quesitons can be answered on the spot.
  • I do prefer each session's scope be somewhat bounded to a given topic/area which is small enough to be discussed in detail.  If new topics arise naturally (and they will) just simply parking lot them and decide to discuss them in a different session aka don't allow scope creep to derail your session.
  • How much time or how many sessions? It depends - nothing worst than putting an arbitrary limit and walk away with half-understood use story or requirement just because that limit has been reached.  I have found the popcorn method to be very effective in many of the sessions that I ran.


Adrian Marchis
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