Business Agility Office

Spike is a short, time-boxed piece of research, usually technical, on a single story that is intended to provide just enough information that the team can estimate the size of the story. In agile software development, specifically in XP, a spike is a story that cannot be estimated until a development team runs a time-boxed investigation. The output of a spike is an estimate for the original story.

On SAFe, Spikes are a type of exploration Enabler Story in SAFe. Defined initially in Extreme Programming (XP), they represent activities such as research, design, investigation, exploration, and prototyping. Their purpose is to gain the knowledge necessary to reduce the risk of a technical approach, better understand a requirement, or increase the reliability of a story estimate.  Like other stories, spikes are estimated and then demonstrated at the end of the Iteration. They also provide an agreed upon protocol and workflow that Agile Release Trains (ARTs) use to help determine the viability of Epics.

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