Questions Not Stories (Agile Cambridge 2012)

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Workshop on user stories vs hypothesis & experiments from the Lean Startup community, presented on September 27 at Agile Cambridge 2012.

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Questions Not Stories (Agile Cambridge 2012)

  1. 1. Questions not Stories Agile Cambridge 2012 Adrian Howard (@adrianh) quietstars.com
  2. 2. Please askquestions
  3. 3. Disclaimer 1: Eh?
  4. 4. Disclaimer 2:I could be confused and stupid
  5. 5. Who am I?
  6. 6. Swear Jar
  7. 7. (obligatory cute animal slide)
  8. 8. Who are you?
  9. 9. Disclaimer 3:Be careful if you’re new to agile
  10. 10. Chatham House Rule applies please
  11. 11. "When a meeting, or part thereof, isheld under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use theinformation received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed"
  12. 12. Exploring user stories
  13. 13. Exercise• 5m• Everybody write a user story• Real (if you can) or made up• “As a <user>, I want <goal> so that <reason>” template if you want to, but not compulsory
  14. 14. Exercise• 5m• Each person explain their user story to the group• Card. Conversation. Confirmation.
  15. 15. Exercise• 5m• Each table write on post-it notes• User story likes/dislikes, good/bad points, purposes, etc.
  16. 16. Relax
  17. 17. Stories arestatements
  18. 18. Stories describe the product
  19. 19. Product owner says“doing X will return business value”
  20. 20. Breakdown stories by splitting & thinning
  21. 21. Stories =known knowns.
  22. 22. What aboutknown unknowns?
  23. 23. The Lean Startup“A true experimentfollows the scientificmethod. It begins witha clear hypothesis thatmakes predictionsabout what is supposedto happen. It then teststhose predictionsempirically”
  24. 24. The Lean Startup• Come up with hypothesis• Design experiment• Run experiment• Validate/Invalidate hypothesis• Repeat
  25. 25. The Lean Startup
  26. 26. Moving from Stories to Hypotheses
  27. 27. As a potential user, I want register usingtwitter so that I don’t have to fill out a registration form.
  28. 28. Step 1
  29. 29. As a potential user, I want register usingtwitter so that I don’t have to fill a registration form ?
  30. 30. As a potential user, I want register usingtwitter so that I don’t have to fill a registration form ?
  31. 31. Step 2: Ask why?• Increase # registrations?• More social media penetration for marketing?• Allow notification features?
  32. 32. Step 3: What’s our hypothesis?
  33. 33. Allowing users toregister with twitterwill drop abandoned registrations by 5%
  34. 34. Exercise• 5m• Pair up• Pick a story card and apply: 1. Question mark 2. Why (or “whys”) ? 3. Generate hypothesis
  35. 35. BuildingExperiments
  36. 36. Experimentsproduce learning not product
  37. 37. Experiments canget thrown away
  38. 38. Focus on speed of feedback
  39. 39. Allowing users toregister with twitterwill drop abandoned registrations by 5%
  40. 40. Experiment• Built fake “register with twitter” link which led to nice error message• Released to segment of customers on live site• Measured how many new users tried it• <1% - hypothesis invalid
  41. 41. Not just A/B testing
  42. 42. Exercise• 5m• Pair up• Pick a hypothesis• Come up with as many ways to validate the hypothesis as possible
  43. 43. Exercise• 5m• Each table write on post-it notes• Hypothesis/experiment likes/dislikes, good/bad points, purposes, etc.
  44. 44. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
  45. 45. Alignment on value
  46. 46. Helps build anexperiment culture
  47. 47. It’s hypothesesbefore, during andafter development
  48. 48. Metric-FirstDevelopment
  49. 49. Encouragesvalue-oriented infrastructure
  50. 50. Hypotheses talkabout business value directly
  51. 51. Success changes
  52. 52. Splitting/thinning changes
  53. 53. Where’s the user?
  54. 54. Where’s the delight?
  55. 55. Horde of zombie experiments
  56. 56. Where are therunning, tested features?
  57. 57. What happens when I can’tvalidate cheaply?
  58. 58. What about non-startup contexts?
  59. 59. Some folk find reality hurts
  60. 60. Further Reading• Lean Startup by Eric Ries• Running Lean by Ash Maurya• The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank• The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development by Brant Cooper & Patrick Vlaskovits• The Startup Owners Manual by Steve Blank (not read)
  61. 61. I <heart> feedback
  62. 62. Questions?
  63. 63. Adrian Howard adrianh@quietstars.com twitter.com/adrianhlanyrd.com/profile/adrianh quietstars.com

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