Facilitating the Elephant Carpaccio Exercise

One of the best exercises I know of on how to learn and practice User Story slicing techniques is the so called Elephant Carpaccio exercise. At Spotify it is something of a staple as it it is (often) used when introducing new employees (now a days).

The exercise is about creating a quoting application which includes different markets, tax and discounts. If you have not done this before your initial slices will probably be pretty large. The aha moment is when you realize how SMALL you can actually make them. You can can dry run this exercise by only creating and discussing the backlog. It’s also very friendly to actually do it for real by programing the application; even excel can be used to do that.

Henrik Kniberg has written an excellent guide on how to facilitate this exercise. Here’s my slides based on that presentation to make it a little bit easier to remember and run it in a classroom.

4 responses on “Facilitating the Elephant Carpaccio Exercise

  1. Hi Peter ‚Äď

    thanks for nice slide deck. I run carpaccio exercise for 3 times and still didn’t figure out the best way to introduce backlog slicing. I don’t want to suggest too much to avoid spoiling but seems like you show to participants a nicely sliced backlog. Don’t you think it reduces the value of the exercise? Are participants willing to slice it even more?


    1. Hi,
      thanks, and sorry for being unclear. I do NOT show my version of the backlog ūüėČ However I sometimes uses it to guide a conversation about how to slide, instead of just letting the participants do on their own. It’s sort of my private answer (facit as we say in swedish).

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