A Requirements Challenge

I have always done highly iterative development and have always worked in short iterations. Initially this was because the domains I worked in early in my career gave me no choice but to work that way. Later I discovered the philosophical reasons for working this way. I also soon learned that keeping the software close to bug free was best. This was all back in the 1980s and…

Non-functional Requirements as User Stories

A common challenge with writing user stories is how to handle a product's non-functional requirements. These are requirements that are not about specific functionality ("As a user of a word processor, I want to insert a table into my document."), but are rather about an attribute or characteristic of the system. Examples include reliability, availability, portability,…

Advantages of the “As a user, I want” user story template.

In my user stories book and in all my training and conference sessions on user stories I advocate writing user stories in the form of:

"As a <type of user>, I want <some goal> so that <some reason>." While I consider the so-that clause optional, I really like this template. At a conference, someone asked me why. Because I get that question fairly often, I want to give…

Writing User Stories for Back-end Systems

I was asked recently how to go about writing user stories for a back-end financial system. This is an interesting example and is a question I get asked a lot, so I thought I should answer it here. This example brings up a couple of key interesting challenges:

  • While there may be users of the system they are not often not direct users (i.e., with hands on the keyboard…

Miscommunicating with the written word

What a wonderfully poor medium it is to communicate with written words. I'm sometimes amazed that we're able to communicate meaning at all. Here are two good examples of how hard it is to communicate with written words.  A few weeks ago I was traveling and decided it was time to schedule another Certified ScrumMaster class. I emailed my assistant, Tonya, and said, "Please…