Anchors are big, heavy pieces of metal that you drop out of a boat when you’re close to land so your boat doesn’t drift away.
They keep you in one spot.
Too often in a release, where we started is not where we end up. What was originally meant to be the release, is no longer the release and what we are shipping is something vastly different than what was originally intended.
For this reason, releases need to have anchors. They need to have that connection to what was intended when the idea for the release was conceived.
They need this so when we start tossing features and stories off the release bus we remember what was important and what we need to remember as we introduce changes.
Another way to think of an anchor as it relates to releases – what can we not go out the door with when we ship? What must be there for the release to do well?