Writing Effective User Stories

Writing Effective User Stories
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Publisher : BA-Experts
Total Pages : 51
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Book Synopsis Writing Effective User Stories by : Thomas and Angela Hathaway

Download or read book Writing Effective User Stories written by Thomas and Angela Hathaway and published by BA-Experts. This book was released on 2013-07-29 with total page 51 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT? This Book Is About the “Card” (User Story: Card, Criteria, Conversation) User Stories are a great method for expressing stakeholder requirements, whether your projects follow an Agile, Iterative, or a Waterfall methodology. They are the basis for developers to deliver a suitable information technology (IT) app or application. Well-structured user stories express a single action to achieve a specific goal from the perspective of a single role. When writing user stories, stakeholders knowledgeable about the role should focus on the business result that the IT solution will enable while leaving technology decisions up to the developers. Good user stories are relevant to the project, unambiguous, and understandable to knowledge peers. The best user stories also contain crucial non-functional (quality) requirements, which are the best weapon in the war against unsatisfactory performance in IT solutions. This book presents two common user story structures to help you ensure that your user stories have all the required components and that they express the true business need as succinctly as possible. It offers five simple rules to ensure that your user stories are the best that they can be. That, in turn, will reduce the amount of time needed in user story elaboration and discussion with the development team. This book targets business professionals who are involved with an IT project, Product Owners in charge of managing a backlog, or Business Analysts working with an Agile team. Author’s Note The term “User Story” is a relative new addition to our language and its definition is evolving. In today’s parlance, a complete User Story has three primary components, namely the “Card”, the “Conversation”, and the “Criteria”. Different roles are responsible for creating each component. The “Card” expresses a business need. A representative of the business community is responsible for expressing the business need. Historically (and for practical reasons) the “Card” is the User Story from the perspective of the business community. Since we wrote this book specifically to address that audience, we use the term “User Story” in that context throughout. The “Conversation” is an ongoing discussion between a developer responsible for creating software that meets the business need and the domain expert(s) who defined it (e.g., the original author of the “Card”). The developer initiates the “Conversation” with the domain expert(s) to define the “Criteria” and any additional information the developer needs to create the application. There is much to be written about both the “Conversation” and the “Criteria”, but neither component is dealt with in any detail in this publication. A well-written User Story (“Card”) can drastically reduce the time needed for the “Conversation”. It reduces misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and false starts, thereby paving the way for faster delivery of working software. We chose to limit the content of this publication to the “User Story” as understood by the business community to keep the book focused and address the widest possible audience. WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM READING THIS BOOK? How organizations develop and deliver working software has changed significantly in recent years. Because the change was greatest in the developer community, many books and courses justifiably target that group. There is, however, an overlooked group of people essential to the development of software-as-an-asset that have been neglected. Many distinct roles or job titles in the business community perform business needs analysis for digital solutions. They include: - Product Owners - Business Analysts - Requirements Engineers - Test Developers - Business- and Customer-side Team Members - Agile Team Members - Subject Matter Experts (SME) - Project Leaders and Managers - Systems Analysts and Designers - AND “anyone wearing the business analysis hat”, meaning anyone responsible for defining a future IT solution TOM AND ANGELA’S (the authors) STORY Like all good IT stories, theirs started on a project many years ago. Tom was the super techie, Angela the super SME. They fought their way through the 3-year development of a new policy maintenance system for an insurance company. They vehemently disagreed on many aspects, but in the process discovered a fundamental truth about IT projects. The business community (Angela) should decide on the business needs while the technical team’s (Tom)’s job was to make the technology deliver what the business needed. Talk about a revolutionary idea! All that was left was learning how to communicate with each other without bloodshed to make the project a resounding success. Mission accomplished. They decided this epiphany was so important that the world needed to know about it. As a result, they made it their mission (and their passion) to share this ground-breaking concept with the rest of the world. To achieve that lofty goal, they married and began the mission that still defines their life. After over 30 years of living and working together 24x7x365, they are still wildly enthusiastic about helping the victims of technology learn how to ask for and get the digital (IT) solutions they need to do their jobs better. More importantly, they are more enthusiastically in love with each other than ever before!


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