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Writing better user
stories
José E. Rodríguez Huerta
(@jrhuerta)
Disclaimer
Not a single original
thought in this
presentation.
Although there is some first hand
experience
What this talk is about
•  Why use user stories at all?
•  Some guidelines on how to
improve
•  Identifying common “user
s...
Why use User stories
at all?
Requirements gathering is an
integral part of software
development
Common pitfalls
•  Lack of context
•  Fail to deliver value
•  Overly specified
•  User/Client doesnt know
what they want....
User stories to the rescue!
Yes, they are still a
requirements document,
but…
They are cool
How do User Stories
address those problems?
•  Provide Context =>
Aligment
•  End user/customer
language, makes it easy
to...
What is a user story?
three critical parts:
– Card
– Conversation
– Confirmation
(“conversation placeholders”)
What is
a “Good” USER STORY?	
  
It helps YOU
to solve your problem
Defining a “good” u.s.
•  follows the INVEST acronym
(by Bill Wake)
•  Defines conditions FOR
“satisfaction” (in DoD)
•  D...
Defining a “good” U.S.
•  Uses the customer’s language
•  has the Who, the What and Why
•  Everyone participates in
defini...
I.N.V.E.S.T.
•  Independent
•  Negotiable
•  Value
•  Estimable
•  Size/Small
•  Testable
I for Independent
Independent also means it can
be built incrementaly
and iteratively
Incremental
Art	
  by	
  Jeff	
  Pa,on	
  
Iterative
Art	
  by	
  Jeff	
  	
  Pa,on	
  
Incremental-Interative
Art	
  by	
  Steven	
  Thomas	
  
I for Independent
Ok… maybe, some dependency
N for Negotiable
•  Avoid implementation details
– It says the What, not the How.
•  Its not carved in stone
– Until its p...
V for Value
Provide value to your customer
with every story
V for Value
V for Value
V for Value
E for Estimable
Otherwise you can’t know when it
will be done
(or if it will ever be…)
S for Size/Small
•  If its too big, split it.
–  Learn how.
•  If it too small, maybe its not a
user story
–  I smell micr...
T for Testable
If it’s not worth testing it…
Is it worth writting it?
Not everything is a
User Story
What?
•  The process context:
–  Definition of Done
–  Definition of Ready
•  Non functional requirements:
–  Requirements...
Use aids to “Power Up”
•  Wireframes
•  Navigation maps
•  Color tags
•  Personas
•  User Story maps
•  Anything else you ...
Use aids to “Power Up”
•  Wireframes
•  Navigation maps
•  Color tags
•  Personas
•  User Story maps
•  Anything else you ...
Revise and Refine and even
Re-do
•  User stories are alive, they:
–  Are Born
–  Grow
–  Reproduce
–  Die
•  Make time to ...
user story smells
User Story smells…
•  Too much detail or too little detail
•  No conditions of satisfaction
•  A story per page/component ...
15m is not a lot of time
so…
Where DO I get more info?
•  Agile Barcelona community (@agilebcn)
•  Books:
–  User stories applied: For Agile Software
D...
 
Thanks
Any questions?
(@jrhuerta)
How to write good user stories
How to write good user stories
How to write good user stories
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How to write good user stories

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How to write good user stories

  1. 1. Writing better user stories José E. Rodríguez Huerta (@jrhuerta)
  2. 2. Disclaimer Not a single original thought in this presentation. Although there is some first hand experience
  3. 3. What this talk is about •  Why use user stories at all? •  Some guidelines on how to improve •  Identifying common “user story smells…”
  4. 4. Why use User stories at all?
  5. 5. Requirements gathering is an integral part of software development
  6. 6. Common pitfalls •  Lack of context •  Fail to deliver value •  Overly specified •  User/Client doesnt know what they want. •  No priorization •  Hard to build incrementaly •  Difficult to estimate •  Too long… Didn’t read. •  Too technical… Didn’t read. •  Long time to market cycle •  Not always clear who the users are and what they expect from the software. •  Long feedback loops from users/stakeholders •  Acceptance criteria is: everything is implemented. •  Hard to maintain
  7. 7. User stories to the rescue!
  8. 8. Yes, they are still a requirements document, but…
  9. 9. They are cool
  10. 10. How do User Stories address those problems? •  Provide Context => Aligment •  End user/customer language, makes it easy to read/understand bridges the gap between technical and business •  Focus on Delivering Value •  User/Customer centered •  Small, Cheap •  Easily priorizable and re- priorizable •  Versatile •  Switch the focus to communication instead of a detailed specification. •  Shortens Time to Market.
  11. 11. What is a user story? three critical parts: – Card – Conversation – Confirmation (“conversation placeholders”)
  12. 12. What is a “Good” USER STORY?  
  13. 13. It helps YOU to solve your problem
  14. 14. Defining a “good” u.s. •  follows the INVEST acronym (by Bill Wake) •  Defines conditions FOR “satisfaction” (in DoD) •  Defines conditions FOR “readyness” (in DoR)
  15. 15. Defining a “good” U.S. •  Uses the customer’s language •  has the Who, the What and Why •  Everyone participates in defining/refining
  16. 16. I.N.V.E.S.T. •  Independent •  Negotiable •  Value •  Estimable •  Size/Small •  Testable
  17. 17. I for Independent Independent also means it can be built incrementaly and iteratively
  18. 18. Incremental Art  by  Jeff  Pa,on  
  19. 19. Iterative Art  by  Jeff    Pa,on  
  20. 20. Incremental-Interative Art  by  Steven  Thomas  
  21. 21. I for Independent Ok… maybe, some dependency
  22. 22. N for Negotiable •  Avoid implementation details – It says the What, not the How. •  Its not carved in stone – Until its part of an iteration it can still be rewritten
  23. 23. V for Value Provide value to your customer with every story
  24. 24. V for Value
  25. 25. V for Value
  26. 26. V for Value
  27. 27. E for Estimable Otherwise you can’t know when it will be done (or if it will ever be…)
  28. 28. S for Size/Small •  If its too big, split it. –  Learn how. •  If it too small, maybe its not a user story –  I smell micromanagement!
  29. 29. T for Testable If it’s not worth testing it… Is it worth writting it?
  30. 30. Not everything is a User Story
  31. 31. What? •  The process context: –  Definition of Done –  Definition of Ready •  Non functional requirements: –  Requirements that extend through the whole project
  32. 32. Use aids to “Power Up” •  Wireframes •  Navigation maps •  Color tags •  Personas •  User Story maps •  Anything else you may find useful
  33. 33. Use aids to “Power Up” •  Wireframes •  Navigation maps •  Color tags •  Personas •  User Story maps •  Anything else you may find useful
  34. 34. Revise and Refine and even Re-do •  User stories are alive, they: –  Are Born –  Grow –  Reproduce –  Die •  Make time to groom your backlog with the team and client
  35. 35. user story smells
  36. 36. User Story smells… •  Too much detail or too little detail •  No conditions of satisfaction •  A story per page/component or sliced in ways that don’t deliver value •  Technical tasks masqueraded as user stories •  Skipping the conversation
  37. 37. 15m is not a lot of time so…
  38. 38. Where DO I get more info? •  Agile Barcelona community (@agilebcn) •  Books: –  User stories applied: For Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn –  Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience by Jeff Gothelf & Josh Seiden •  The Mountain Goat Software: http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/ •  Google
  39. 39.   Thanks Any questions? (@jrhuerta)

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