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User Stories Re-explained - Antony Marcano

Many teams refer to each piece of work they do as a User Story. Many write some words into some kind of ticket in Jira or Rally (and sometimes a sticky-note), with the words ‘As a… I want… So that…”. But are you really working with User Stories? In this talk, Antony takes you back to the origins of User Stories; explains how they have been misunderstood and accidentally misrepresented; how the practice has been interpreted through filters of older ways of working and have now become something other than they were intended for the vast majority of teams.

In most teams Antony has visited or begun to coach, their idea of User Stories and his are very different. Many of their User Stories are not independently valuable and have dependencies on many others. Real value isn’t unlocked until several stories later. There’s little room to negotiate as the piece of work has only one solution… the one specified.

After some guidance, these teams soon realise that what they once called User Stories were actually tasks and features in disguise. And, by understanding the art of User Stories – beyond simply what we write –. they were able to release more value, sooner, with more flexibility and without dependencies.

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User Stories Re-explained - Antony Marcano

  1. 1. User Stories Re-Explained @AntonyMarcano @RiverGlide
  2. 2. @AntonyMarcano antonymarcano.com Antony Marcano is co-founder of RiverGlide, a company that guides organisations in all aspects of agility. Most of his 20+ years experience has been with Agile teams & guiding organisations that aspire to greater agility. Antony is acknowledged in numerous books on Agile, BDD, and crafting software. He was also successor to Mike Cohn and Brian Marick as Technical Editor for Better Software Magazine and has spoken regularly at Oxford University on Agile Methods. Antony Marcano
  3. 3. Implied Requirements Select and name chunks of functionality. Use names that would have meaning to customers consistent with the Product Initiative. Allow these names to imply customer requirements without actually enumerating requirements in the traditional sense. c2.com/doc/episodes.pdf circa 1995
  4. 4. Business users write a story describing something the system needs to do
  5. 5. ronjeffries.com/xprog/articles/expcardconversationconfirmation/
  6. 6. ronjeffries.com/xprog/articles/expcardconversationconfirmation/
  7. 7. ronjeffries.com/xprog/articles/expcardconversationconfirmation/
  8. 8. Tasks: What you do, to implement… Features: Attributes the product has, that provide… Functionality: Things the product does “Requirement”: An unproven idea that someone important believes in Words often used…
  9. 9. “The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, also known as the linguistic relativity hypothesis, refers to the proposal that the particular language one speaks influences the way one thinks about reality” https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/psychology/sapir-whorf-hypothesis Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
  10. 10. A User Story is literally just that… A user’s story, told in terms of what they need to achieve tomorrow and why. Each story has an independently valuable outcome for a user, no matter how small. We write down just enough to remember the user’s story.
  11. 11. Managing the development of large software systems– Dr. Winston W. Royce, 1970
  12. 12. 14 Credit:HenrikKniberg
  13. 13. 15 Credit:HenrikKniberg
  14. 14. 16 Credit:HenrikKniberg
  15. 15. A template doesn’t make it a User Story User Story Mapping – Jeff Patton
  16. 16. “The Net” (1995)
  17. 17. The Card is Not The Story
  18. 18. “Good documents are like vacation photos.” -Jeff Patton
  19. 19. The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying! — René Magritte https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Treachery_of_Images
  20. 20. “Stories are told”-Ron Jeffries
  21. 21. “User Stories” is a way of working that, through conversation, helps teams and users come to a shared understanding of the problems the users need solved and why it matters to them. It lets the discovery of the best solution happen during implementation, with small, valuable evolutions to the product, both incrementally and iteratively.
  22. 22. Conversations are how We understand the user’s story
  23. 23. A Task: What you do, to implement… A Feature: Attributes the product has, that provide… Functionality: Things the product does “Requirement”: An unproven idea that someone important wants A User Story isn’t…
  24. 24. A User Story is… A user’s story, told in terms of what they need to achieve tomorrow and why. Each story has an independently valuable outcome for a user, no matter how small. We write down just enough to remember the user’s story.
  25. 25. “User Stories” is a way of working that, through conversation, helps teams and users come to a shared understanding of the problems the users need solved and why it matters to them. It lets the discovery of the best solution happen during implementation, with small, valuable evolutions to the product, both incrementally and iteratively.
  26. 26. Managing the development of large software systems– Dr. Winston W. Royce, 1970
  27. 27. 40 Credit:HenrikKniberg
  28. 28. The End antony@riverglide.com @AntonyMarcano riverglide.com @RiverGlide

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