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Stuart G

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Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories
Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories
by Gojko Adzic
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.42

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars But when you start working with user stories it's easy to use them in the wrong way and you'll ..., 27 Feb. 2015
Again Gojko identifies a gap in the available agile literature and fills it admirably. Other books will tell you the basics about how to write or plan with stories, and make everything sound deceptively simple when stories just appear by magic! But when you start working with user stories it's easy to use them in the wrong way and you'll likely have lots of questions about how to best create and use them. '50 quick ideas' will more than likely cover those questions and point you in the right direction to get the most out of them. It's full of practical advice - not just theory - based on both of the authors' extensive experience, which gave me plenty of "aha!" or "of course!" moments and ideas to try, even after using user stories for several years.

The structure of the book works well - short and to the point, well referenced, entertaining, and explains both why the idea works and how to apply it.


Impact Mapping: Making a big impact with software products and projects
Impact Mapping: Making a big impact with software products and projects
Price: £7.42

5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and useful, 31 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've read both of Gojko's previous books and they've made a significant impact on how I think about and approach development projects as a business analyst on an agile team. I had read the 'beta' document that eventually became this book and it didn't disappoint once it was in print, it's nicely illustrated and easy to read. What I like about all his books is his practical, concise use of realistic examples, and an honesty that the techniques he describes are capturing his latest thinking and don't claim to be a silver bullet and the final word in software development.

The book addresses a problem any type of project often faces - how to get agreement from stakeholders on what the goals of a project are and what needs to change to achieve it, and avoid jumping straight into a wishlist of features and solutions driven by who shouts the loudest. The technique has the added benefit of keeping the project at a level of definition where solutions can still be negotiated and evolved iteratively, and will help to keep the team focused on meeting the business objectives.

I've also recently read 'Discover to Deliver' (Gottesdiener/Gorman) and can see impact mapping working nicely with the methods described there.


Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook
Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook
by Michael Linenberger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.54

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only system that's worked for me, and has got better over time, 18 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been trying to 'get organised' for a good 7 or 8 years since I thought there must be methods out there to tell you how to use a todo list better. I think I must have tried most of them - GTD, 7 habits/Covey, Do It Tomorrow, The Now Habit/Unschedule, Personal Efficiency Program, and my own hybrids of those various systems. I've tried to implement those systems in outliner software, paper, todo list software, Excel, email folders, .... the list has gone on and on. Whilst each of them sounded good in theory they didn't seem to work for long in practice for my type of work.

My job is project-based work largely sat in front of a PC bar the odd meeting, conducted and driven a lot by email, and I'd often be enthused by a new system for a few days but would quickly find it couldn't keep up, particularly with emails where both transferring them to another 'system' and tracking them for future reference just seemed like too much work.

I'd had this book in my Amazon wishlist for a while so after yet another system had failed me I decided to give it a go, read it in a weekend and quickly had it implemented, and haven't looked back since.

Every system I've previously studied seems to be immediately challengeable with 'but how does it handle...', but the system presented in Total Workday Control is intuitive and everything seems to just work and for the first time I don't feel like there's stuff out there I'm missing, or action lists going stale because I can't face going through them again. I'm writing this review having been three days away from work and it took me about half an hour to clear my inbox and feel back in control.

This is the only system where I feel I'm getting better at it the more I use it.


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