User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Addison-Wesley Signature) Paperback – 1 Mar 2004
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The concept of user stories has its roots as one of the main tenets of Extreme Programming. In simple terms, user stories represent an effective means of gathering requirements from the customer (roughly akin to use cases). This book describes user stories and demonstrates how they can be used to properly plan, manage, and test software development projects. The book highlights both successful and unsuccessful implementations of the concept, and provides sets of questions and exercises that drive home its main points. After absorbing the lessons in this book, readers will be able to introduce user stories in their organizations as an effective means of determining precisely what is required of a software application.
From the Back Cover
Agile requirements: discovering what your users really want. With this book, you will learn to:
- Flexible, quick and practical requirements that work
- Save time and develop better software that meets users' needs
- Gathering user stories -- even when you can't talk to users
- How user stories work, and how they differ from use cases, scenarios, and traditional requirements
- Leveraging user stories as part of planning, scheduling, estimating, and testing
- Ideal for Extreme Programming, Scrum, or any other agile methodology
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.
Boston, MA 02116
ISBN: 0-321-20568-5See all Product description
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The first chapter will convince you why User stories are orders of magnitude better than the use cases you know and love.
Each of the subsequent short chapters is tightly focused and covers a key aspect of user stories (e.g. writing good stories, user profile mapping. using stories in planning and estimating etc.). As you go through the book, you can see how the different pieces of user stories fit together and how user stories themselves fit into a software development process. (The book itself leans heavily towards an agile process such as Scrum or XP although the exact process does not really matter)
Despite its directness and succinctness, it is a very engaging and thought-provoking book.
If you want to understand behaviour-driven development, specification-by-example or user story mapping (each of which is adequately in a book by a key populariser/practitioner of the respective technique) you should really read this book first. And even if you never practice any of those techniques, you should still read this book if you want to learn how to capture software requirements effectively in the modern, agile, test-driven world.
It is one of that crop of brilliantly written, painstakingly edited software engineering books written by luminaries in their fields, that were published by Addison-Wesley in the 2000s: Refactoring by Fowler, Test-Driven Deveopment by Beck, this book, Pattern-oriented software architecture I and II, Patterns of Enterprise Software Integration (Fowler et. al.) and many others. They remain as relevant and thought-provoking today as when they were first written.
This is a good book for anyone to read who works in scrum or XP. Will help to set expectations of what a User story really is, and what a user story isn't. Uses very good, sound examples.
I did learn a lot from teh book and I am seriously considering lending it to our product manager to help him "see the light" :)