Spike tasks are meant to be research oriented. They are meant to help us focus on solving a problem rather than implementing a solution. They usually have loose time constraints.

Because spikes have loose time constraints, it’s easy to end up thinking that they have undefined amount of time. And for this reason, it’s better to have the goals of the spike defined and refined until you can put story points on them. A story point may not be a strong indicator of when the spike will end. But it sure gives an idea how much is too much.

When working on spike tasks, I find it’s better to have a goal each time we start focusing on it. I set out to answer one specific question and I intend to answer it well. It’s always helpful to keep a running document as well. The running doc gives me a sense of a map where I can repeatedly check whether the output is matching the ask.

Spikes are great opportunities to improve efficiency of execution of the larger body of work. They help us drive more specificity and refine the goal of the an Epic.

Spike efficiently to be more efficient.