David Evans is an experienced agile consultant, coach and trainer with over 25 years of IT experience. A thought-leader in the field of agile quality, he has provided training and consultancy for clients worldwide. An in-demand speaker at events and conferences across Europe, David was voted Best Keynote Speaker at Agile Testing Days 2013. He is co-author of the best-selling books “50 Quick Ideas to Improve your User Stories” and “50 Quick Ideas to improve Your Tests”, was a contributor to the book “More Agile Testing”, and has also had several papers published in international IT journals. He currently lives and works in the UK, where he is a partner in Neuri Consulting LLP.
User Stories are one of those things that are enormously useful when described well, and painful when done badly. In my experience of working with a large number of teams, I've seen far more bad stories than good ones.
If you are using Stories to describe your Product Backlog items, it is almost certain that you write them down using this format: “As a I want So that ”.
As someone who cares about the state of agile practice, I want to offer some alternatives, so that agile teams remember that the point of the story is in the telling, not the template. The shared understanding comes from the conversation, not the card. By offering you different ways to ‘tell’ the story in its short written form, you will gain a greater level of meaning, interest and engagement in your team’s discussions about the work they are doing to build great software that matters to people.
The talk will cover the problems with slavishly using this (or any other) single template. I will analyse the essential elements of stories, and in particular how we use stories as experiments about how changes within the technical domain of our software can influence and create a positive impact for our customers within the business domain. We will look at better ways in which to express stories in their short written form. I will offer tips on how to phrase different parts of the story in order to maximise shared understanding while keeping the structure terse and encouraging team conversatio.
I will also share tips on how to identify and express the business value of stories in a consistent way using a Value Map.
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