Archive for December 2008

2008-12-16: User Story Session Notes

December 19, 2008

Sorry for the delay updating the blog. I had the best intentions to update the blog over the holidays but ran out of time.

The session started off with Declan providing an overview of user stories. Declan’s presentation can be viewed here Agile Stories. He also reviewed INVEST.

The following book was also recommended : User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development.

After the presentation we broke into two groups.

The first group had a workshop on creating user stories that was led by Declan. The group worked together to create user stories for the game of Tic Tac Toe. A user story takes the form: “As a <user-type> I want to a <goal> so that <reason>”.

The second group discussed the challenges of creating stories. A few ideas that arose during the discussion were:

  • Stories need to be independent – write stories in context of business drivers since technical stories often become dependent on each other
  • Stories that are technical in nature ( e.g. upgrade database) – create engineering stories and always tie the story back to an engineering requirement
  • Ensure that stories define what and why not how!
  • Scope Creep – ensure that done is defined, define a list of acceptance tests, define the “how to demo”
  • Prioritize stories from a business value perspective not from a technical perspective
  • Product management does not know what they want – ask the five whys
  • Ensure that the stories are testable – QA should work with the Product owner to help define user acceptance tests and also ensure that the stories are testable

After both sessions were complete, the two groups met and shared the ideas from their respective sessions.

The images below show the results of the night.

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2008-12-16: Session Format for Stories

December 14, 2008

Here is a bit more information on how the session will be run on this Tuesday.

We will start with a quick overview of the INVEST model of user stories.

If anyone brought sample stories will be posted on the wall for people to review. If there are sufficient stories and people are interested they can critique these stories.

We will then split into two groups:

Group 1: Creating Stories
This will be a short workshop on creating stories that will have the following format:

  • The group will be presented with some high level business context and sample application for which they need to create stories
  • They will create a high-level backlog (epic stories)
  • An initial sprint backlog will be created
  • The group will then reflect on challenges and what they learned from this exercise and report back to group

Group 2: Challenges to Creating Stories
This group will brainstorm challenges to creating user stories and will discuss potential solutions to these problems.
Some examples would include:

  • Product owner not available
  • Starting point is a detailed requirements document

They report findings back to the group.

2008-12-16: The Power of the Agile Story

December 5, 2008

… before the Gutenberg printing press was invented …gutenberg

… and before Irish scribes saved the world by transcribing ancient Greek texts …irish-scribe

… knowledge was shared through the generations by storytellers …story-teller

… and now we have come full circle.

Agility: Rejuvenating the Power of the Story

Please come share your stories at the next Agile/Lean P2P group:

Date: December 16, 2008
Time: 4:30 to 6:00 PM
Location: TBD – will be confirmed in reminder email

We want to explore what makes up a great story for agile development. So please come prepared with some real stories from your agile team (feel free to reword to protect the innocent). We will critique the stories provided. If you are new to Agile stories or want a story refresher you might want to get your hands on a copy of Mike Cohn’s books User Stories Applied or check out his 3 articles on stories.

Also, if you would like to host and provide a warm place for 30 or so “agile enthusiasts,” please be sure to let Wanda know.

Don’t forget that there is a LinkedIn group and a Facebook group if you are interested in joining.


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