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INVEST in Good Stories, and SMART Tasks

INVEST in Good Stories, and SMART Tasks
(French) In XP, we think of requirements of coming in the form of user stories. It would be easy to mistake the story card for the “whole story,” but Ron Jeffries points out that stories in XP have three components: Cards (their physical medium), Conversation (the discussion surrounding them), and Confirmation (tests that verify them). A pidgin language is a simplified language, usually used for trade, that allows people who can’t communicate in their native language to nonetheless work together. User stories act like this. We don’t expect customers or users to view the system the same way that programmers do; stories act as a pidgin language where both sides can agree enough to work together effectively. But what are characteristics of a good story? I – IndependentN – NegotiableV – ValuableE – EstimableS – SmallT – Testable Independent Stories are easiest to work with if they are independent. Negotiable… and Negotiated A good story is negotiable. Valuable A story needs to be valuable. Small

Where do User Stories Come From? Part 1. | Robert Galen An Approach for Generating User Stories I see many agile Product Owners struggle with backlogs on their own for new projects. Quite often they insist on personally owning the backlog-which equates to authoring every story themselves. While this approach certainly works, it does require a lot of additional vetting time with their teams-bringing them up to speed on the story content. In his book User Stories Applied, author Mike Cohn discussed the notion of User Story Writing Workshops. I see way too much individualized story writing and too little group-based activity, so I wanted to spend some time in my next two posts discussing the dynamics and merits of User Story Writing Workshops. Getting a Facilitator One of the most critical success factors in the workshop is finding or declaring a facilitator. If you can't get someone who's independent, then go for facilitative experience. The first thing the facilitator will do is coordinate workshop logistics. Workshop Logistics Wrapping-Up

INVEST (mnemonic) One of the characteristics of Agile Methodologies such as Scrum or XP is the ability to move stories around, taking into account their relative priority - for example - without much effort. If you find user stories that are tightly dependent, a good idea might be to combine them into a single user story. The only thing that is fixed and set in stone in an agile project is an iteration backlog (and, even then, it can be broken). While the story lies in the product backlog, it can be rewritten or even discarded, depending on business, market, technical or any other type of requirement by team members. The focus here is to bring actual project-related value to the end-user. If a user story size cannot be estimated, it will never be planned, tasked, and, thus, become part of an iteration. Try to keep your user story sizes to typically a few person-days and at most a few person-weeks. Bear in mind that a story should only be considered DONE, among other things, if it was tested successfully.

7 Obstacles to Enterprise Agility | Scrum Reference Card Print version I work with divisions of large companies that are struggling to become agile, starting with Scrum. While each organization is in a distinct business sector using different technology and management cultures, each one shares a common pathology, a kind of “giantism.” At first glance, an organization’s challenges will appear to be “too much to do” or “not enough resources” or “changing business climate.” A division of a well-known company cited as a 1997 success story by a famous Scrum pioneer came to Danube Technologies, Inc. for help in 2009 because market forces revealed it was less agile than its competitors. Obstacle #1: Naive Resource Management The PMBOK Guide observes “often the budget needs to be increased to add additional resources to complete the same amount of work in less time.” When the work is new product development, the relevant resources are intangible: task absorption, learning, interpersonal communication and innovation. Obstacle #4: Distraction

Use Cases or User Stories? Murali Krishna tells us: Failure to effectively transition to Agile development is often based on a fundamental failure to understand what a User Story is. The most important aspect of a User Story is that it's an independently *schedulable* unit of requirement (feature). The key to achieving the "independently schedulable" characteristic of a user story is that you express it in terms of how a "user" would use it. This leads you to a unit of functionality that's implemented end-to-end (UI to backend) that a user can actually interact with. Murali mirrors what many in the Agile community believe - that user stories are the only/best way to go and points us to an article by Mike Cohn, Advantages of User Stories for Requirements where Mike defines user stories: and then specifically contrasts user stories to the other well-known requirement technique, use cases: So it seems pretty clear that user stories are superior. Things aren't as clear cut as some would have us believe.

An E-Commerce Study: Guidelines For Better Navigation And Categories Product findability is key to any e-commerce business — after all, if customers can’t find a product, they can’t buy it. Therefore, at Baymard Institute, we invested eight months conducting a large-scale usability research study on the product-finding experience. We set out to explore how users navigate, find and select products on e-commerce websites, using the home page and category navigation. The one-on-one usability testing was conducted following the “think aloud” protocol, and we tested the following websites: Amazon, Best Buy, Blue Nile, Chemist Direct,, eBags, GILT, GoOutdoors, H&M, IKEA, Macy’s, Newegg, Pixmania, Pottery Barn, REI, Tesco, Toys’R’Us, The Entertainer, and Zappos. Throughout the test sessions, the subjects would repeatedly abandon websites because they were unable to find the products they were looking for. 1. 1The Pottery Barn website (larger view2). (left) and (right). 5Larger view6 2. (larger view8) 3. 4. 5. 6.

are you agile ? Mandaté par l’un de mes clients pour mettre en place le portfolio des projets du groupe (1000 collaborateurs), j’ai sollicité plusieurs personnes que je soupçonnais d’avoir, chacunes à leur niveau, assez d’expérience, de recul, de culture d’entreprise et d’esprit de synthèse pour contribuer à l’objectif : une vision d’ensemble, une cartographie, et sa projection dans le temps. Au fil des discussions, j’ai été interpellé par une nuance à laquelle, jusque là, je n’ai jamais fait trop attention. Projets tactiques, projets stratégiques… Se noue alors un dialogue avec Alexis Beuve: – Alexis, pourquoi tiens-tu à ce point à distinguer des projets tactiques et des projets stratégiques ? Interloqué, voire choqué (il me provoque en fait), il répond : – Pablo… Pablo… est-ce que tu te moquerais de moi ? Un peu c’est vrai, car Alexis est aussi auteur et éditeur. Reprenons. – Pablo… il faut que tu lises la préface d’un livre. – Mais donc en deux mots ? – En deux mots ? Product Owners – Tu jugeras. – Ah ?

Introduction to User Stories 1. Introduction to User Stories A good way to think about a user story is that it is a reminder to have a conversation with your customer (in XP, project stakeholders are called customers), which is another way to say it's a reminder to do some just-in-time analysis. In short, user stories are very slim and high-level requirements artifacts. 2. As you can see in Figure 1 user stories are small, much smaller than other usage requirement artifacts such as use cases or usage scenarios. Figure 1. Important considerations for writing user stories: Stakeholders write user stories. Figure 2. 2. Figure 3. 4. There are two areas where user stories affect the planning process on agile projects: Scheduling. Figure 4. 5. As you can see in the Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) life cycle of Figure 5, there are several distinct "phases" or seasons in the life cycle (some people will refer to the agile delivery life cycle as a release rhythm). Inception. Figure 5. Figure 6. 6. Figure 7. 7. 8.

Using Paper Prototypes to Manage Risk There are no rewards in life for being the first one with the wrong answer. Imagine spending years building a product, only to learn that it missed the needs of its intended market. History is littered with the carcasses of failed products and the companies that built them - product development is indeed a risky business. We're a consulting firm specializing in user interface design and usability issues, so our initial contact with new clients is usually when they realize their product is in trouble. The company had spent considerable time and money to produce their first release, just to learn that they hadn't quite gotten it right. That's exactly what we helped them do. Day 1 We met with the entire development team. The first thing we did with the team was to agree on a profile of their most important type of user and the most important things that those users did with the product. Days 2 and 3 We completed the prototype by the end of Day 3. Days 4 and 5 Day 6

Wiki @Ayeba - home User stories in VS2010 MSDN Library Design Tools Development Tools and Languages Mobile and Embedded Development Online Services patterns & practices Servers and Enterprise Development Web Development This topic has not yet been rated - Rate this topic User story (Agile) Other Versions This topic has been merged with its parent, Agile process template work item types and workflow. Did you find this helpful? Tell us more... (1500 characters remaining) Thank you for your feedback Show: © 2014 Microsoft.

2 Days, 40 People, and a Bus: TLC + LSM at SFAgile 2012 LeanEssays: Friction One third of the fuel that goes into a car is spent overcoming friction. By comparison, an electric car loses half as much energy - one sixth - to friction. Who knew electric cars had such an advantage? Friction is the force that resists motion when the surface of one object comes into contact with the surface of another. Friction in the Customer Journey Think of friction as the cognitive overhead that a system places on those who use it. Uber set out to remove the friction from taking a taxi by reimagining the entire experience, from hailing to routing to paying; from drivers and cars to insurance and regulations. Full Stack Startups Uber is among the largest of a new crop of startups – investor Chris Dixon calls them full stack startups – that bypass incumbents and reinvent the entire customer experience from start to finish with the aim of making it as frictionless as possible. Consider banks. Creative Friction Why do banks adopt Bimodal IT? Friction in the Code Failure Shared Learning 1.