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User Stories: My knowledge bank of “value”able reads

27 Mar

I have been writing user stories for more than couple of years now. I am still learning and improving. And every story I write next – I try to improve it: Bring “value” to it. As a group manager of few online agile/scrum groups, I see many experienced people struggling to understand the concept of user stories.

Even met people who claim to have quite some experience in writing user stories – but when you hand them a card and pen, they go blank.

With respect to user stories few points need to be remembered:

1) They are from “users” perspective – So PLEASE involve the customer/user of the system while writing (Better let THEM write, if your org allows that)

2) A user story w/o an acceptance criteria is like a human w/o spinal cord.

3) There’s NO such thing as a PERFECT story – the dev team with product owner and customer have to come to an agreement to say the story is GOOD to go and can be used by development team for breaking down into tasks.

With all that said which can be debated as EVERYONE has a opinion, I started putting together some knowledge base for user stories. If you can help contribute to these links, PLEASE feel free to comment on this post and help point to valuable content related to user stories:

What are user stories? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_story

INVEST: http://xp123.com/xplor/xp0308/index.shtml

@mikewcohn: http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/topics/user-stories

@scottwambler: http://www.agilemodeling.com/artifacts/userStory.htm

@agilescout: http://agilescout.com/presentation-writing-better-user-stories/

http://agilescout.com/agile-guide-estimating-user-stories-in-agile/

http://agilescout.com/agile-user-stories-specific-role-names/

@mlevison http://agilepainrelief.com/notesfromatooluser/2010/09/story-slicing-how-small-is-enough.html

http://agilepainrelief.com/notesfromatooluser/2010/12/more-notes-on-story-splitting.html

@peterstev: http://www.scrum-breakfast.com/2008/02/explaining-story-points-to-management.html

@davidjbland: http://www.scrumology.net/tag/story-points/

There’s a LOT of information out on internet that can help you learn about user stories – if you’re a member of scrum alliance, there are valuable reads on their site submitted by agile practitioners. But NOTHING can get you the experience unless u start writing them yourself.

So, what are you waiting for: Grab a index card, a pen (or go the digital way) and collaborate with your customer team, product owner and developers to start writing – then scratch few, negotiate, refine some more, scratch again and come up with a user story that is ready for your product backlog.

Disclaimer: The only idea regarding this post is a centralized page for me to reference valuable content on User stories. If you have pointers and suggestions, please feel free to comment.

05/13/2011: Got a GREAT read from Martin Fowler that needs to be added to this list: Conversational Stories. I am so very happy to share that I AM practicing this with my team as a Proxy PO!

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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in Agile

 

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