User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development

User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development

4.6 8
by Mike Cohn
     
 

ISBN-10: 0321205685

ISBN-13: 9780321205681

Pub. Date: 03/01/2004

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Thoroughly reviewed and eagerly anticipated by the agile community, User Stories Applied offers a requirements process that saves time, eliminates rework, and leads directly to better software.

The best way to build software that meets users' needs is to begin with "user stories": simple, clear, brief descriptions of functionality that will be

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Overview

Thoroughly reviewed and eagerly anticipated by the agile community, User Stories Applied offers a requirements process that saves time, eliminates rework, and leads directly to better software.

The best way to build software that meets users' needs is to begin with "user stories": simple, clear, brief descriptions of functionality that will be valuable to real users. In User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn provides you with a front-to-back blueprint for writing these user stories and weaving them into your development lifecycle.

You'll learn what makes a great user story, and what makes a bad one. You'll discover practical ways to gather user stories, even when you can't speak with your users. Then, once you've compiled your user stories, Cohn shows how to organize them, prioritize them, and use them for planning, management, and testing.

  • User role modeling: understanding what users have in common, and where they differ
  • Gathering stories: user interviewing, questionnaires, observation, and workshops
  • Working with managers, trainers, salespeople and other "proxies"
  • Writing user stories for acceptance testing
  • Using stories to prioritize, set schedules, and estimate release costs
  • Includes end-of-chapter practice questions and exercises

User Stories Applied will be invaluable to every software developer, tester, analyst, and manager working with any agile method: XP, Scrum... or even your own home-grown approach.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780321205681
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Publication date:
03/01/2004
Series:
Addison-Wesley Signature Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
268
Sales rank:
264,231
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

I: GETTING STARTED.

1: An Overview.

What Is a User Story?

Where Are the Details?

“How Long Does It Have to Be?”

The Customer Team.

What Will the Process Be Like?

Planning Releases and Iterations.

What Are Acceptance Tests?

Why Change?

Summary.

Questions.

2: Writing Stories.

Independent.

Negotiable.

Valuable to Purchasers or Users.

Estimatable.

Small.

Testable.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

3: User Role Modeling.

User Roles.

Role Modeling Steps.

Two Additional Techniques.

What If I Have On-Site Users?

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

4: Gathering Stories.

Elicitation and Capture Should Be Illicit.

A Little Is Enough, or Is It?

Techniques.

User Interviews.

Questionnaires.

Observation.

Story-Writing Workshops.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

5: Working with User Proxies.

The Users' Manager.

A Development Manager.

Salespersons.

Domain Experts.

The Marketing Group.

Former Users.

Customers.

Trainers and Technical Support.

Business or Systems Analysts.

What to Do When Working with a User Proxy.

Can You Do It Yourself?

Constituting the Customer Team.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

6: Acceptance Testing User Stories.

Write Tests Before Coding.

The Customer Specifies the Tests.

Testing Is Part of the Process.

How Many Tests Are Too Many?

The Framework for Integrated Test.

Types of Testing.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

7: Guidelines for Good Stories.

Start with Goal Stories.

Slice the Cake.

Write Closed Stories.

Put Constraints on Cards.

Size the Story to the Horizon.

Keep the UI Out as Long as Possible.

Some Things Aren't Stories.

Include User Roles in the Stories.

Write for One User.

Write in Active Voice.

Customer Writes.

Don't Number Story Cards.

Don't Forget the Purpose.

Summary.

Questions.

II: ESTIMATING AND PLANNING.

8: Estimating User Stories.

Story Points.

Estimate as a Team.

Estimating.

Triangulate.

Using Story Points.

What If We Pair Program?

Some Reminders.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

9: Planning a Release.

When Do We Want the Release?

What Would You Like in It?

Prioritizing the Stories.

Mixed Priorities.

Risky Stories.

Prioritizing Infrastructural Needs.

Selecting an Iteration Length.

From Story Points to Expected Duration.

The Initial Velocity.

Creating the Release Plan.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

10: Planning an Iteration.

Iteration Planning Overview.

Discussing the Stories.

Disaggregating into Tasks.

Accepting Responsibility.

Estimate and Confirm.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

11: Measuring and Monitoring Velocity.

Measuring Velocity.

Planned and Actual Velocity.

Iteration Burndown Charts.

Burndown Charts During an Iteration.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

III: FREQUENTLY DISCUSSED TOPICS.

12: What Stories Are Not.

User Stories Aren't IEEE 830.

User Stories Are Not Use Cases.

User Stories Aren't Scenarios.

Summary.

Questions.

13: Why User Stories?

Verbal Communication.

User Stories Are Comprehensible.

User Stories Are the Right Size for Planning.

User Stories Work for Iterative Development.

Stories Encourage Deferring Detail.

Stories Support Opportunistic Development.

User Stories Encourage Participatory Design.

Stories Build Up Tacit Knowledge.

Why Not Stories?

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

14: A Catalog of Story Smells.

Stories Are Too Small.

Interdependent Stories.

Goldplating.

Too Many Details.

Including User Interface Detail Too Soon.

Thinking Too Far Ahead.

Splitting Too Many Stories.

Customer Has Trouble Prioritizing.

Customer Won't Write and Prioritize the Stories.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

15: Using Stories with Scrum.

Scrum Is Iterative and Incremental.

The Basics of Scrum.

The Scrum Team.

The Product Backlog.

The Sprint Planning Meeting.

The Sprint Review Meeting.

The Daily Scrum Meeting.

Adding Stories to Scrum.

A Case Study.

Summary.

Questions.

16: Additional Topics.

Handling NonFunctional Requirements.

Paper or Software?

User Stories and the User Interface.

Retaining the Stories.

Stories for Bugs.

Summary.

Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.

Questions.

IV: AN EXAMPLE.

17: The User Roles.

The Project.

Identifying the Customer.

Identifying Some Initial Roles.

Consolidating and Narrowing.

Role Modeling.

Adding Personas.

18: The Stories.

Stories for Teresa.

Stories for Captain Ron.

Stories for a Novice Sailor.

Stories for a Non-Sailing Gift Buyer.

Stories for a Report Viewer.

Some Administration Stories.

Wrapping Up.

19: Estimating the Stories.

The First Story.

Advanced Search.

Rating and Reviewing.

Accounts.

Finishing the Estimates.

All the Estimates.

20: The Release Plan.

Estimating Velocity.

Prioritizing the Stories.

The Finished Release Plan.

21: The Acceptance Tests.

The Search Tests.

Shopping Cart Tests.

Buying Books.

User Accounts.

Administration.

Testing the Constraints.

A Final Story.

V: APPENDICES.

Appendix A: An Overview of Extreme Programming.

Roles.

The Twelve Practices.

XP's Values.

The Principles of XP.

Summary.

Appendix B: Answers to Questions.

Chapter 1, An Overview.

Chapter 2, Writing Stories.

Chapter 3, User Role Modeling.

Chapter 4, Gathering Stories.

Chapter 5, Working with User Proxies.

Chapter 6, Acceptance Testing User Stories.

Chapter 7, Guidelines for Good Stories.

Chapter 8, Estimating User Stories.

Chapter 9, Planning a Release.

Chapter 10, Planning an Iteration.

Chapter 11, Measuring and Monitoring Velocity.

Chapter 12, What Stories Are Not.

Chapter 13, Why User Stories?

Chapter 14, A Catalog of Story Smells.

Chapter 15, Using Stories with Scrum.

Chapter 16, Additional Topics.

References.

Index.

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User Stories Applied 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
User Stories Demystified - As you leaf through Mike Cohn¿s new book ¿User Stories Applied¿, the first thing you will experience is a dramatic sense of relief. A certain calm will come over you because at last you have in your hands a very clear, succinct, step-by-step view into the what, when, where, how, and why of user stories. Mike¿s delivery of this material is richly simple in that he manages to sift through the many worries and controversies that surround the role of user stories in an agile project environment and takes us to the nuggets. At the same time, he sparks the fundamentals with a variety of suggestions for implementation based on his extensive experience. In various XP teams in which I have worked, an early challenge of the team had always been around the ability of the team to shift from requirements and design documents and detailed test plans to user stories. Writing them was tortuous; later interpretation of them felt fuzzy. With Mike¿s guidance, we would have known not only how to write, estimate, prioritize, and test our stories, we would have also had ample guidance on who should be paying attention to what in each step of the stories¿ lifecycle. If you are beginning a new project, release, sprint, or iteration, don¿t move another step without distributing Mike¿s book across the team as pre-requisite reading. They¿ll all thank you for it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Every agile methodology advocates iterative, story-driven (although they may call them features or backlog items) development and so one might assume that an entire book on user stories and iterative planning would be redundant-not so. Mike has added both a breadth and depth to the body of information on this subject as his obvious practical experience shines through. Both little tidbits, like constraining estimates to specific pre-defined values, and responses to frequently asked questions (for example the best contrasting of use cases versus stories that I've seen) give Mike's book significant value for anyone practicing agile development of any flavor. Every agile methodology advocates iterative, story-driven (although they may call them features or backlog items) development and so one might assume that an entire book on user stories and iterative planning would be redundant-not so. Mike has added both a breadth and depth to the body of information on this subject as his obvious practical experience shines through. Both little tidbits, like constraining estimates to specific pre-defined values, and responses to frequently asked questions (for example the best contrasting of use cases versus stories that I've seen) give Mike's book significant value for anyone practicing agile development of any flavor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Devising the specifications for a software project can be a squishy affair. A programmer may not be skilled at eliciting requirements from users. This can be very much a qualitative, fuzzy interaction. Far removed from writing of code, where one can usually objectively measure the functionality. But Cohn points out that the users' needs cannot be ignored for the project to be successful. He says that in the drawing up of these needs, the effort should be equally influenced by both the users and the programmers. An imbalance here can adversely affect the usefulness of the project. He devotes the book towards what he says the group should draw up. User stories. These are functionalities needed by the eventual users. He considers user stories to be of lesser scope than use cases, where the latter may be better known to most. The main merit of a user story seems to be that it involves a 'bite-sized' programming effort. He suggests less than 10 days of development. So that a team could quickly iterate through several development cycles, with the cost of a bad choice of user story being small.