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Intro to Agile Requirements: User Stories, Backlogs and Beyond

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Ellen Gottesdiener's Agile 2015 session (invited session in the Agile Bootcamp track, August 2015).
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One of the most challenging and trouble-prone aspects of product development is discovering the right product requirements to deliver at the right time—and for the right customer. User stories and product backlogs are useful tools, but they aren't the only elements you'll need.

In this fast-paced introductory session, Ellen shares a common-sense approach to agile requirements that will help you reduce risk and deliver value. She surveys powerful ways to have colorful and collaborative requirements conversations. Discover how acceptance tests, prototypes, and models articulate important details. Understand the characteristics of a healthy backlog and review the methods that agile teams use when mining the backlog for business value.

This session debunks commonly held agile requirements myths and misconceptions. These include: “user stories are requirements”; “agile teams don’t do planning”; “requirements documentation goes away in agile”; and “agile teams don’t do analysis”. Come and see how a holistic approach to agile requirements can take you beyond user stories to a place where stakeholders can converse, collaborate, and co-create a shared understanding of ever-evolving product needs.

Session learning objectives include:
* Understand how agile requirements can reduce risk and deliver value, faster
* Learn common myths and misconceptions of agile requirements
* Recognize the utility—and limitations of user stories
* Outline ways agile teams supplement user stories
* Understand characteristics of a healthy backlog

Published in: Software
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Intro to Agile Requirements: User Stories, Backlogs and Beyond

  1. 1. 1 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Intro to Agile Requirements: User Stories, Backlogs and Beyond © 2015 by EBG Consulting, Inc. Ellen Gottesdiener www.ebgconsulting.com www.DiscoverToDeliver.com @ellengott ellen@ebgconsulting.com Agile2015 | Agile Bootcamp 4 August 2015 | Washington DC
  2. 2. 2 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  3. 3. 3 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com user stories = agile requirements… the backlog contains requirements…. agile teams don’t do planning… agile teams don’t do analysis… rqts documentation goes away in agile… myths
  4. 4. 4 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com insufficient customer involvement… unrealistic customer expectations… requirements defects scope creep… risks
  5. 5. 5 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com user stories to the rescue!?
  6. 6. 6 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com user story As a <user> I need to <action> so <reason>
  7. 7. 7 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com ConcertsOnline . At ConcertsOnline we are always looking for ways to enhance our concert goers’ experience. A new initiative is to partner with restaurants who want to connect with concert goers at neighboring concerts.
  8. 8. 8 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com user story As a concert goer I need to search for concert-related dining discounts so I can enhance my concert experience
  9. 9. 9 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com your turn Pair up Consider the user story… ?What requirements-related questions do you have about the user story? Formulate 2-3 questions Be ready to share
  10. 10. 10 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com user story = requirements
  11. 11. 11 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com conversation
  12. 12. 12 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Alternatives, choices, possibilities… product options to achieve a goal or solve a problem for its stakeholders. Adapted from: Gottesdiener, Software Requirements Memory Jogger
  13. 13. 13 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com structured conversation www.DiscoverToDeliver.com/visual-language.php
  14. 14. 1 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com slice for valuesplit
  15. 15. 15 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com functional nonfunctional 7 product dimensions in balance www.DiscoverToDeliver.com/visual-language.php
  16. 16. 16 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com user story As a concert goer I need to search for concert-related dining discounts so I can enhance my concert experience
  17. 17. 17 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com some agile teams… action user As a concert goer I need to search for concert-related dining discounts so I can enhance my concert experience
  18. 18. 18 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com User Interface Action Data Control persona user role map context diagram prototype relationship map business process diagram capability map dependency graph story, story map use case value stream map data model state diagram business policy, rule decision table decision tree explore, evaluate, confirm w visuals
  19. 19. 19 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com conversing
  20. 20. 20 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com 7Ds options board www.DiscoverToDeliver.com/visual-language.php
  21. 21. 21 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Users interact with the product user
  22. 22. 22 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com user User Role Map Represents types of users and their relationships
  23. 23. 23 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Sam the Super Fan Description A social leader in his group of friends Loves to party, age 25, single Paid to see live music in last 12 months Values (Needs) Appreciates being ‘in the know’ Wants to be treated like a VIP Cost conscious Goals I want to attend all my favorite artists’ shows in my region Persona Description of typical user’s background user
  24. 24. 24 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product provides capabilities for users action
  25. 25. 25 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Process Flow Shows flows between related actions action
  26. 26. 26 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product includes a repository of data and useful information data
  27. 27. 27 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Data Model Shows logical structure of data and their relationships data
  28. 28. 28 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product enforces constraints control
  29. 29. 29 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Control Options (Business Policies, Rules) Value Anyone can search for CO-associated restaurants Only CO members can search for dining discounts A CO member must be “active” to download a dining discount coupon A concert-related dining discount’s effective date must be equal to the concert’s date Only “current” dining discount can be searched Discount coupon details must be provided when making a restaurant reservation control
  30. 30. 30 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com story w 4 Ds action As a <user> data>I need to <action so <reason> user control data back of card <controls>
  31. 31. 31 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com back of card action As a Super Fan concert goer I need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience story with 4 Ds user Only CO members can search for dining discounts Only “current” dining discounts can be searched control dataconcert-related dining discounts
  32. 32. 32 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com more stories… As a Super Fan concert goer I need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience Only CO members can search for… dining discounts by restaurant type As a Super Fan concert goer I need to tell a friend about a concert-related dining discount As a Super Fan concert goer I need to connect with at a restaurant about a discount As a Super Fan concert goer I need to recommend a restaurant to other CO members
  33. 33. 33 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com structured conversation confirm to learn
  34. 34. 34 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com example a scenario that contains actual data values scenario an instance of use test concrete, unambiguous accept. criteria As a Super Fan concert goer I need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience concert-related dining discounts Only “current” dining discounts can be searched confirm stories
  35. 35. 35 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com confirm stories Concert ID Restaurant Dining Discount Status AJ 123 First and Last 10% current AJ 123 High Cotton 15% cancelled AJ 123 Cavey’s 15% current BB 333 Ostra 20% cancelled Scenario Input Concert ID Expected Result 1. Discounts found AJ 123 First and Last, Discount 10% Cavey’s, Discount 15% 2. No discounts found BB 333 none Only “current” dining discounts can be searched
  36. 36. 36 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Story Scenario business rule(s) Given pre-condition(s), state fixed data context of system When action input data what will be tested Then observable outcome: message, output data post-condition, state result given-when-then
  37. 37. 37 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Story As a Super Fan concert goer I need to search for concert-related dining discounts so I can enhance my concert experience Scenario discounts found business rule Only “current” dining discounts can be searched given-when-then Given pre-condition(s), state CO member exists fixed data Concert ID Restaurant Dining Discount Status AJ 123 First and Last 10% current AJ 123 High Cotton 15% cancelled AJ 123 Cavey’s 15% current When action search input data concert ID: AJ 123 Then observable outcome: message, output data First and Last, Discount 10% Cavey’s, Discount 15% post-condition, state no change
  38. 38. 38 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product conforms to physical properties and technology platforms environment
  39. 39. 39 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com environment EnvironmentTechnology Platform Options Software Hardware Standards SafeSQL DBMS RowderRouter 2.4 BB Common Usage Std 2011.4.3 CommonBrowser V3.1 InfraScanner 878 Security Protocal-343 MidiMiddleware 8-989 RiverDesktop MiniPrint-Mobile112
  40. 40. 40 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com User Environment Location Options Value Concert Goer Mobile On-site at concert Fixed location CO Manager Office Mobile environment
  41. 41. 41 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product interfaces to users, systems, and devices interface
  42. 42. 42 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Context Diagram Illustrates interfaces to/from product interface
  43. 43. 43 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com The product has certain properties that qualify its operation and development quality attribute
  44. 44. 44 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Quality Attribute Options Value Availability to search for restaurants Performance to enter promotions Interoperability with restaurant apps Usability for restaurant managers quality attribute
  45. 45. 45 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Gist Availability of the concert goer to find dining discounts Stakeholder CO Member Adapted from: Tom Gilb Scale Percent of time system is available for searching Meter Measurement obtained from 20 users during testing Benchmark not available Targets Minimum 90% Plan 95% Wish ideally never down quality attribute planguage
  46. 46. 46 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com assemble options
  47. 47. 47 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com back of card action As a Super Fan concert goer I need to search for so I can enhance my concert experience story with 7 Ds user dataconcert-related dining discounts interface environment quality attribute Interface with concert goer Mobile Available 95% of time control Only “current” dining discounts can be…
  48. 48. 48 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com sketches models, UI mockup the full story scenarios AC: functional examples, GWT AC: nonfunctional planguage story with 7Ds estimatevalue
  49. 49. 49 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com agile documentation Source: Gottesdiener and Gorman, Discover to Deliver:Agile Product Planning and Analysis pg 201
  50. 50. 50 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com structured conversation confirm to learn validate each delivery cycle: quantifiable unambiguous leading indicators lagging indicators
  51. 51. 51 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  52. 52. 52 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com agile goal discover and deliver high value
  53. 53. 53 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com some agile teams…
  54. 54. 54 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com in balance
  55. 55. 55 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com …a structured meeting in which a carefully selected group of stakeholders work together to define, create, refine, and reach closure on deliverables…. discovery workshop a.k.a. facilitated workshop, facilitated session, collaboration workshop Requirements by Collaboration by Ellen Gottesdiener
  56. 56. 56 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com discovery workshop
  57. 57. 57 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com discovery workshop
  58. 58. 58 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  59. 59. 59 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com ends and means answers ‘why?’
  60. 60. 60 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com ddeessiirraabbllee ffeeaassiibbllee vviiaabbllee product partner answers ‘who?’
  61. 61. 61 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com product partners
  62. 62. 62 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com product partners
  63. 63. 63 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com product partners
  64. 64. 64 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com views answer ‘when?’
  65. 65. 65 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com process epic feature Member Services feature MMF use case story Search for restaurants story Search for nearby Italian restaurant planning views portfolio program team
  66. 66. 66 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com product backlog
  67. 67. 67 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com buried?
  68. 68. 1 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com set of unvalidated options dynamic, ever changing lean and lumpy valued by Product Owner estimated by team healthy product backlog rqtmts value management
  69. 69. 69 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com myths user stories = agile requirements… the backlog contains requirements…. agile teams don’t do planning… agile teams don’t do analysis… rqts documentation goes away in agile…
  70. 70. 70 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com agile requirements in balance
  71. 71. 71 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com agile requirements structured conversations
  72. 72. 72 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com agile requirements collaborative
  73. 73. 73 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com agile requirements colorful www.DiscoverToDeliver.com/visual-language.php
  74. 74. 74 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Intro to Agile Requirements: User Stories, Backlogs and Beyond © 2015 by EBG Consulting, Inc. Ellen Gottesdiener www.ebgconsulting.com www.DiscoverToDeliver.com @ellengott ellen@ebgconsulting.com Agile2015 | Agile Bootcamp 4 August 2015 | Washington DC thanks!
  75. 75. 75 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Discover to Deliver Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9oIpZaXTDs
  76. 76. 76 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Agile 2015 discount 30% off paperbook thru 31 August use coupon code AGL2015 order at www.DiscoverToDeliver.com
  77. 77. 77 © 2015 by EBG Consulting | @ellengott www.ebgconsulting.com | www.DiscoverToDeliver.com Intro to Agile Requirements: User Stories, Backlogs and Beyond © 2015 by EBG Consulting, all rights reserved. (the legal stuff...) This presentation is for the Agile 2015 attendees’ personal use.   No copies, in part or in whole, including but not limited to, hard copy, print, photocopy or any electronic media, may be made or used without express written permission of EBG Consulting, Inc.   Visit www.DiscoverToDeliver or contact EBG for Creative Commons versions of images.

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