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What is a Technical Spike?

Estimation is the center of agile planning or sprint planning. But you cannot estimate a user story till the time you know what the work is. Sometimes to understand a user story we need to do some research or exploration. For this, the team needs to put extra effort to understand the business requirement and its technical feasibility. The time allocated for this kind of research may vary from 1-2 days. This activity, when you are trying to understand the user story so that you can estimate it, is called a technical spike. The objective of the technical spike is not to solve the problem or deliver the user story. The output of a technical spike is a through-away prototype. If work done during technical spike should be used for development purpose then this kind of technical spike is called Tracer Bullet.