It is a Product Manager’s job to determine what to build, it’s an engineer’s job to determine how to build it.
Epics contextualize and group requests:
Product Managers work to follow a flow such as:
Rinse and repeat!
*Doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead
It all starts with the Epic. Epics are full-stack “problem themes” that teams should work together to solve, and move on once it’s complete.
Focus on the benefits of storywriting and AC, why it’s important to follow and the results it produces. Team can both understand the format and follow through on the development/testing methodologies that support the format.
Storywriting and Acceptance Criteria should be a core piece of a Product Manager’s job. It’s his/her responsibility to make sure they are accurate, complete, and move the product forward.
Story tracking system (JIRA, Pivotal, etc.) must be accepted and used as the source of truth organization-wide. You cannot be an effectively operating (and distributed) team without tracking stories and conversations.
All stories should be reviewed and accepted by a Product Manager (or equivalent) alongside support of QA review. This has the additional effect of forcing the team to rely on Acceptance Criteria to accept/reject stories.