Every person whom I meet teaches me how much I don’t know about some subject. Either its about the world, history, culture, religion, different industries… whatever it is…This happens to me all the time when travelling. I have some luck to have good company most the time while travelling or in transit. Those strangers ended up being my “friends” frequently.
This time when I was travelling from Frankfurt to Doha, Some stranger fell in to conversation with me after seen my notebook bag ( I think I have mentioned about this notebook bag before in this blog J ) He assumed that I work for an IT company and he is an Agile management consultant based in Denmark and travelling to Doha for some assignment. You can imagine now.. a conversation in a long flight extended by 1 hour delay J
It was very interesting to know about various experiences we both had with Scrum and he was quite used to many other agile methods which I have never been exposed to before. However we both agreed that Scrum is the most popular Agile (According to him.. “The well marketed and money making Agile”) right now.
Talking about various experiences I asked his experience about user stories. This was some challenging area in Scrum projects. Getting the user stories right…
I always believed its better to have the standard for user stories “ As a “, “I need to “ “So that I can”.. In this way the requirements become much clearer to everyone and we may not miss the users what their expectations etc.. But he disagreed. I was surprised, but he had a valid argument on this. Example: As a Job applicant I want to post my CV to the job portal so that the prospective employers can view my CV in PDF format”
His argument was that its always difficult to stick with real users in user stories. As an example; you want to have date widgets in an application, so that do you write “as a designer I want to use the list of widgets so that “…….. ??? Where is the real user in this user story? ? I couldn’t agree less. Because I just completed a project initiation where there were many many user stories which I couldn’t think of mapping to my standard template originally but I had to do it by force with tweaking them by using developers, designers , architects as types of users which may not be the best case.. He also had the same experience .. One of his initial product backlogs 80% of the time it has been “ As a product owner “ which doesn’t make any sense…J
But then.. Million dollar question.. Why Mike Cohn standardized that user stories in a standard way? Didn’t he see this problem? I don’t think so .. Need much more thinking and reading on this.. may be some times not using standards would be better than using standards if they are not meaningful.. I will definitely do a follow-up post on this..
Anyway bottom line out of scrum is that speak to anyone who try to make a conversation with you…never know what they will come up with J
Yeah Im not a person who can live with open ended questions.. So Im chasing answers:
Follow up today : I purchased the book from Amazon "User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development " by Mike Cohn
I found this article :