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Writing Great User Stories

June 4, 2010

There’s an interesting article on the Scrum Alliance about writing good user stories, requirements and use cases. According to the writer, user stories are actually narrative texts that describe an interaction of the user and the system, focusing on the value a user gains from the system. A true user story is a metaphor for the work being done. A good user story uses the “INVEST” model:
• Independent. Reduced dependencies = easier to plan.
• Negotiable. Details added via collaboration
• Valuable. Provides value to the customer.
• Estimable. Too big or too vague – not estimable.
• Small. Can be done in less than a week by the team.
• Testable. Good acceptance criteria.

The writer draws interesting comparisons between “traditional requirements”, “use cases” and “user stories” – and the benefits and pitfalls of each. Are user stories better than other types of requirements specifications? Well it depends. It’s essentially the team that determines whether a particular technique will work or fail. For most scrum teams, the intent of good user stories, however, is to help foster collaboration. If you already have a collaborative team environment and/or are looking to enhance it – read this article for learning more about techniques for writing good user stories.

Scrum Comes to South America in October

August 25, 2009

It seems that excitement over agile processes and engineering techniques has finally migrated southward. Well, not “finally.” Last fall, Buenos Aires played host to Ágiles 2008, the inaugural South American conference on all things agile. But last month, the official website for Ágiles 2009 went live. This year, the conference moves to Florianopolis, Brazil for four days of “agilidad” in October.

With retrospectives guru Diana Larsen and Agile Manifesto signatory Brian Marick slated to deliver the keynote presentations, it looks like a great program, whether for South American software developers or North American coders looking for an excuse to mix business with pleasure.

Check out the full program here.

Agile 2009: Conference Program Announced!

May 19, 2009

If you haven’t seen it yet, the full conference program for Agile 2009 has been announced. You can take a look at what’s planned for those five days in August: http://agile2009.agilealliance.org/programOverview

Agile Conference 2008

November 4, 2008

Here’s an interesting video I reposted from the Agile Journal website: an interview at the Agile 2008 conference in Toronto between Agile Journal reporter Patrick Egan and Victor Szalvay, co-founder of Danube Technologies, Inc. and Product Owner for the ScrumWorks Pro agile management tool. It only clocks in at about five minutes, but, in that time, Patrick and Victor cover a lot of ground. Topics discussed include agile adoption trends; the evolution of agile tooling solutions; common challenges organizations face when adopting agile; and how Danube uses Scrum to manage all their projects, from budget forecasting to marketing.

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