Better User Stories

Course:  BUSKW
Duration:  4 Days
Level:  I
Course Summary

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. This course 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.

This course 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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Topics Covered In This Course

Chapter 1 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?

Chapter 2 Writing Stories

  • Independent
  • Negotiable
  • Valuable to Purchasers or Users
  • Estimable
  • Small
  • Testable
  • Developer Responsibilities
  • Customer Responsibilities

Chapter 3 User Role Modeling

  • View Sample
  • User Roles
  • View Sample
  • Role Modeling Steps
  • View Sample
  • Two Additional Techniques
  • View Sample
  • What If I Have On-Site Users?
  • View Sample

Chapter 4 Gathering Stories

  • Elicitation and Capture Should Be Illicit
  • A Little Is Enough, or Is It?
  • Techniques
  • User Interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Observation
  • Story-Writing Workshops

Chapter 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

Chapter 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

Chapter 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

Chapter 8 Estimating User Stories

  • Story Points
  • Estimate as a Team
  • Estimating
  • Triangulate
  • Using Story Points
  • What If We Pair Program?

Chapter 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

Chapter 10 Planning Iteration

  • Iteration Planning Overview
  • Discussing the Stories
  • Disaggregating into Tasks
  • Accepting Responsibility
  • Estimate and Confirm
  • Developer Responsibilities
  • Customer Responsibilities

Chapter 11 Measuring and Monitoring Velocity

  • Measuring Velocity
  • Planned and Actual Velocity
  • Iteration Burn down Charts
  • Burn down Charts during an Iteration
  • Summary
  • Appendix, as time allows:

Chapter 12 What Stories Are Not

  • User Stories Aren't IEEE 830
  • User Stories Are Not Use Cases
  • User Stories Aren't Scenarios

Chapter 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?

Chapter 14 Story polishing

  • Stories Are Too Small
  • Interdependent Stories
  • Gold plating
  • 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

Chapter 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

Chapter 16 Additional Topics

  • Handling Nonfunctional Requirements
  • Paper or Software
  • User Stories and the User Interface
  • Retaining the Stories
  • Stories for Bugs

Chapter 17 an Example

  • The Project
  • Identifying the Customer
  • Identifying Some Initial Roles
  • Consolidating and Narrowing
  • Role Modeling
  • Adding Personas

Chapter 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

Chapter 19 Estimating the Stories

  • The First Story
  • Advanced Search
  • Rating and Reviewing
  • Accounts
  • Finishing the Estimates
  • All the Estimates

Chapter 20 The Release Plan

  • Estimating Velocity
  • Prioritizing the Stories
  • The Finished Release Plan

Chapter 21 the Acceptance Tests

  • The Search Tests
  • Shopping Cart Tests
  • Buying Books
  • User Accounts
  • Administration
  • Testing the Constraints
  • A Final Story
What You Can Expect

At the end of this course, students will understand:

  • 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
  • How to create practice questions and exercises
Who Should Take This Course

This course is designed for Software Developers, Testers, Analysts, and Managers

Training Style

Instructor led with 50% lecture and 50% lab.

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Every student attending a Verhoef Training class will receive a certificate good for $100 toward their next public class taken within a year.

You can also buy "Verhoef Vouchers" to get a discounted rate for a single student in any of our public or web-based classes. Contact your account manager or our sales office for details.

Schedule For This Course
There are currently no public sessions scheduled for this course. We can schedule a private class for your organization just a couple of weeks from now. Or we can let you know the next time we do schedule a public session.
Notify me the next time this course is confirmed!
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