Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

How to Organize a User Story Writing Workshop

4,037 views

Published on

How to organize a user story writing workshop. An overview for Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and others wanting to organize creation of an agile product backlog

Published in: Technology

How to Organize a User Story Writing Workshop

  1. 1. Overiview  Assumptions for Facilitators  When is a story writing workshop called for?  Assumptions for the Product Owner  Who must be there? Who else should be invited?  Ideal physical Space  Prepare for the workshop  Get cracking!  After the workshop
  2. 2. Assumptions for Facilitators  Workshop Facilitators must  Be fluent in writing user stories  Have general knowledge of the product domain and vision before the workshop begins  Establish trust with all of the audiences in attendance  Have all of the preparations perfectly complete at the time the workshop begins.  Scrum Masters are best at this. 
  3. 3. When is a story writing workshop needed?  When the business has a product vision, but has no backlog of desired value  When the product vision is expansive enough that the backlog is too big for them to explain in one sitting (50 stories? Create your own rule-of-thumb)  When there are significant technical or architectural implications that could impact the product vision.  When you need to establish a shared vision and approach with the product and development teams.
  4. 4. Assumptions for the Product Owner  The product owner(s) exist.  A product vision has been established, and can be explained to the team in 5 minutes or less.  They are committed to:  Make themselves and any needed staff available during the entire workshop  Explain the product vision to the group in 5 minutes or less  Prioritize and groom the backlog after the workshop is complete.
  5. 5. Who must be there?  The product owner, and any other product staff that will have input into the backlog  The entire team  All must be physically present at the workshop  No call-ins  Who ever shows up are the right people.  Some real-time collaboration tools possible, but not at BAML
  6. 6. Who should be there?  Others with input to the final product:  Quality/UAT Testers  Regulatory/Auditing  Security  Legal  Change management  Technology Infrastructure  Customer Support
  7. 7. Ideal conditions  Primary Objective: generate as many user stories as possible, without impediment  Maintain focus on generating stories ○ No one can write anything wrong, unimportant, or unclear ○ No prioritization, scheduling, or sizing  Destroy any impediments immediately ○ Lack of preparation ○ Outside distractions (physical or human) ○ Lack of openness, respect, and courage
  8. 8. Ideal physical space  Close space that supports complete focus  Lots and lots of open wall space  Walls that can accommodate drafting dots or large sticky notes  Location for refreshments  Easy for everyone to get to and be on time
  9. 9. Fourth floor “Virtual Machine” Room
  10. 10. Themes for groups of stories  Themes are useful ways to group stories so that they can be prioritized  General business objectives: ○ “View Account Information” ○ “Loan Application Processing” ○ “New Account Marketing”
  11. 11. Prepare for the Workshop  Posters  User story format  Types of user stories  Product Vision (if available)  Tools  Half-page card stock or extra-large stickies  Drafting dots  Enough sharpies for everyone  Blue tape  Theme cards (if themes exist)  Have everything in abundance – don’t allow for the impediment of running short on supplies
  12. 12. Other useful tools  INVEST model poster (if everyone knows what the INVEST model is)  List of personas  High level information architecture, story maps, or wireframes that can inspire stories  Technology platform details (if they exist)  EVERYTHING on BIG VISIBLE CHARTS  Keep it simple. Tools should never be a distraction.
  13. 13. Prepare the participants  Elevator-pitch of the purpose  This is your chance to create the (and your!) future!  Lombardi time – Be there 10 minutes early, or you’re late  Be there for 100% of the time box.  Don’t plan on interruptions  When it’s over, it’s over
  14. 14. Prepare the room  Hang posters as high as possible – don’t take up wall space from stories  Distribute blank cards, dots, and pens around the room.  Remove anything else that could be a distraction.
  15. 15. Get cracking!  Start on time  1 minute – Why are we here?  5 minutes or less – Who are we? (Name and role only)  5 minutes – Product Vision  5 minutes – User Story Orientation
  16. 16. User Story Orientation  Why are we creating user stories?  To establish a backlog of work to obtain the value represented in the vision  What is a user story?  Very simple explanation  Explain personas if necessary  Walk through one or two examples?  Good one: “As a user, I need to log in so that I can use the system”.  What are the rules of the session?  What if I need help?
  17. 17. What are the rules of the session?  If a story comes into your head, write it on a story card  You cannot write anything wrong  Product owner and development teams (and everyone else) can work together to generate ideas for stories  No prioritization  No scheduling  No sizing or estimation  If you have a question, ask one of the facilitators
  18. 18. Get to work  Allow people to get a rhythm going after a few minutes  Workshops work best with “beginners mind” – no advance strategy or motive other than to get as many stories as possible  If someone looks lost, help them think through a couple stories  Most sessions will develop into healthy chaos.
  19. 19. Themes/Ep ics Stories
  20. 20. UX Designer Marketing Director Technical Architect Product Manager QA Lead Scrum Master
  21. 21. Follow up  Capture all of the stories in digital format as soon as possible after the workshop  Generate new beautiful story cards with the entire output of the workshop  Create a story gallery, and allow everyone to visit it.  Let people add new stories to the gallery as they come up with new ideas  Best case: get a team together, and have the gallery ready within 24 hours.  Ask the product owner to acknowledge all the hard work done, and inform them how grooming and prioritization will proceed.
  22. 22. Thank you! Jeff Lopez-Stuit jlopezstuit@solutionsiq.com www.solutionsiq.com

×