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Slicing user stories really SMALL 
peter.antman@crisp.se 
Peter Antman 
Based on Henrik Knibergs facilitation guide: 
http://blog.crisp.se/2013/07/25/henrikkniberg/elephant-carpaccio-facilitation-guide
A (User) Story 
Independent 
Negotiable 
Valuable 
Estimable 
Small 
Testable 
Acronym courtesy of Bill Wake – www.xp123.com 
Vertical 
Testable 
User-valuable 
Kniberg 
Gui 
Client 
Backend 
Story 
Henrik Kniberg
How can a User Story look
Grooming EPICS  User Stories 
Story Time 
Session 
Story Time 
Session 
Story Time 
Session 
Henrik Kniberg
Story slicing – making thinner but vertical 
Smaller Bigger 
Minutes Hours Days Weeks Month 
Henrik Kniberg
How big are your user stories? 
Target 
Story = A few days 
Task = a few hours 
Commit = several a 
day 
Smaller Bigger 
Minutes Hours Days Weeks Month 
Henrik Kniberg
Why split user stories? 
Discuss in pairs 
Learn faster 
Deliver more 
often 
Happier 
stakeholders 
More in-sync with 
other people & 
teams 
Better 
prioritizations 
Sense of 
velocity 
Better product 
earlier 
More business 
options 
Less risk (less 
time 
“underwater”). 
Easier 
planning 
Henrik Kniberg
Value curve 
Big stories 
Time 
Value 
Delivered 
(comulative) 
Waterfall 
Small stories 
Henrik Kniberg
We will build 
 A a simple retail calculator 
 Using any programming language 
 It takes input, and omit result. 
– Any interface is OK (command, web, gui) 
 40 minutes in 5 iterations x 8 minutes 
 We will do it by slicing the story in 15 – 20 pieces 
 Elephant carpaccio = very thin slices, each one still elephant-shaped. 
Together they form the whole elephant. 
Henrik Kniberg
Elephant Carpaccio 
Background 
Your sales department has asked you for a 
quoting application. They wrote this user story 
“As a sales person, I want 
to quickly get the final 
price of an order” 
Usage 
Our sales support system should accept three 
inputs 
number of items 
a price per item 
a 2-letter state code 
Compute the price of the order, given the discount 
and state tax. 
Mattis Skarin
Priorities 
5 states 
5 discounts 
5 states 
Validation, fancy gui, etc 
Hello world 
Order 
value 
Henrik Kniberg
Create backlog 
What is your first slice? 
When have you an order value? 
Whats next slice after order value? 
• In pairs 
• 10 + 5 minutes 
• Write 10 – 20 demoable user stories 
• Each should be implementable in 2 – 6 minutes 
• Real input and output and different from last 
Henrik Kniberg
One way of slicing it 
1. Echo input 
2. Walking skeleton 
3. Order value 
2 inputs, 1 output. No state tax, no discounts. 
4. Hard-coded state tax 
Still 2 inputs, 1 output. Utah state tax added automatically. 
(Now we can go live in Utah!). 
5. Manual tax (3 input: price per item, # of items, state tax %). 
Output is order value with state tax added. 
User inputs actual tax rate rather than state code. 
This gives simpler code (no internal data structure to map state code to 
tax rate), so we get faster delivery. 
6. State ID (3 input: price per item, # of item, state tax) 
but only two states are supported. Any other gives error message. 
7. Add the other 3 states 
(Llimited value in adding 1 state at a time at this point - there is no 
risk reduction value, and it takes literally just a few seconds more to all 3 states at once) 
8. Once discount 
9. 2 discounts 
10. All discounts 
Verify we can read input 
Order total 
Enable tax in one state 
Enable manual tax 
Enable tax. Ship all states 
Discount for core customers 
Discounts for all levels 
Henrik Kniberg & Mattias Skarin
Build it 
• 5 iterations, 8 minutes per iteration 
• I will shout “demo time” after each iteration 
– Do a fast demo to another team 
– Next iteration starts emediately 
– Shout slice for each slice you have done 
Henrik Kniberg
Review 
• How far did you get on the value curve? 
• How many slices do you have? 
• Acceptance test 
– Start the application 
– I am in Utha 
– Buying 978 items 
– Each cost $270.99 
• Compare result 
Order Value: $ 265 028.22 
Tax: $ 283 182.65 
Tax & Rebate $240 705.26 
Henrik Kniberg
Debfrief 
• What whas it like? 
• Round robin 
– What did you learn? 
– What will you do?

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Facilitating the Elephant carpaccio exercise

  • 1. Slicing user stories really SMALL peter.antman@crisp.se Peter Antman Based on Henrik Knibergs facilitation guide: http://blog.crisp.se/2013/07/25/henrikkniberg/elephant-carpaccio-facilitation-guide
  • 2. A (User) Story Independent Negotiable Valuable Estimable Small Testable Acronym courtesy of Bill Wake – www.xp123.com Vertical Testable User-valuable Kniberg Gui Client Backend Story Henrik Kniberg
  • 3. How can a User Story look
  • 4. Grooming EPICS  User Stories Story Time Session Story Time Session Story Time Session Henrik Kniberg
  • 5. Story slicing – making thinner but vertical Smaller Bigger Minutes Hours Days Weeks Month Henrik Kniberg
  • 6. How big are your user stories? Target Story = A few days Task = a few hours Commit = several a day Smaller Bigger Minutes Hours Days Weeks Month Henrik Kniberg
  • 7. Why split user stories? Discuss in pairs Learn faster Deliver more often Happier stakeholders More in-sync with other people & teams Better prioritizations Sense of velocity Better product earlier More business options Less risk (less time “underwater”). Easier planning Henrik Kniberg
  • 8. Value curve Big stories Time Value Delivered (comulative) Waterfall Small stories Henrik Kniberg
  • 9.
  • 10. We will build  A a simple retail calculator  Using any programming language  It takes input, and omit result. – Any interface is OK (command, web, gui)  40 minutes in 5 iterations x 8 minutes  We will do it by slicing the story in 15 – 20 pieces  Elephant carpaccio = very thin slices, each one still elephant-shaped. Together they form the whole elephant. Henrik Kniberg
  • 11. Elephant Carpaccio Background Your sales department has asked you for a quoting application. They wrote this user story “As a sales person, I want to quickly get the final price of an order” Usage Our sales support system should accept three inputs number of items a price per item a 2-letter state code Compute the price of the order, given the discount and state tax. Mattis Skarin
  • 12. Priorities 5 states 5 discounts 5 states Validation, fancy gui, etc Hello world Order value Henrik Kniberg
  • 13. Create backlog What is your first slice? When have you an order value? Whats next slice after order value? • In pairs • 10 + 5 minutes • Write 10 – 20 demoable user stories • Each should be implementable in 2 – 6 minutes • Real input and output and different from last Henrik Kniberg
  • 14. One way of slicing it 1. Echo input 2. Walking skeleton 3. Order value 2 inputs, 1 output. No state tax, no discounts. 4. Hard-coded state tax Still 2 inputs, 1 output. Utah state tax added automatically. (Now we can go live in Utah!). 5. Manual tax (3 input: price per item, # of items, state tax %). Output is order value with state tax added. User inputs actual tax rate rather than state code. This gives simpler code (no internal data structure to map state code to tax rate), so we get faster delivery. 6. State ID (3 input: price per item, # of item, state tax) but only two states are supported. Any other gives error message. 7. Add the other 3 states (Llimited value in adding 1 state at a time at this point - there is no risk reduction value, and it takes literally just a few seconds more to all 3 states at once) 8. Once discount 9. 2 discounts 10. All discounts Verify we can read input Order total Enable tax in one state Enable manual tax Enable tax. Ship all states Discount for core customers Discounts for all levels Henrik Kniberg & Mattias Skarin
  • 15. Build it • 5 iterations, 8 minutes per iteration • I will shout “demo time” after each iteration – Do a fast demo to another team – Next iteration starts emediately – Shout slice for each slice you have done Henrik Kniberg
  • 16. Review • How far did you get on the value curve? • How many slices do you have? • Acceptance test – Start the application – I am in Utha – Buying 978 items – Each cost $270.99 • Compare result Order Value: $ 265 028.22 Tax: $ 283 182.65 Tax & Rebate $240 705.26 Henrik Kniberg
  • 17. Debfrief • What whas it like? • Round robin – What did you learn? – What will you do?

Editor's Notes

  1. DISCUSS: Ways to split stories INVEST