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Storytest writing and understanding with remote teams

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  • starskysdad
    Ok, I am currently reviewing the Story test activity within a recent XP Project we have just completed. The issue I have other than that of an immensely
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 8, 2006
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      Ok, I am currently reviewing the Story test activity within a recent
      XP Project we have just completed. The issue I have other than that
      of an immensely complex legacy system is that the Development and
      Business teams are remote (and I mean several countries remote!!)

      I noticed during the planning phase that there seemed to be a
      misunderstanding of the story tests by the developers and therefore
      issues with the estimations on stories etc.

      I would like to mitigate this in the future - but don't want to go
      down the waterfall route of making the story tests to prescribed and
      turning it into a Requirements Spec - however the business process
      and logic of the application is particularly complex and therefore I
      would like to find a trade off that would allow the business team to
      capture the story tests efficiently whilst also providing exactly
      what the developers require.

      I will be analysing this with the development team for improvements
      but wondered if anyone had any ideas on useful tools/templates for
      capturing Story Tests ready for review with the developers - again I
      know this is notthe actual discipline within XP but it is impossible
      to have the dev's and users inthe same room :(
    • Steven Gordon
      Would it be sufficient to have the business team just come up with reasonably clear names/titles for each of the different acceptance criteria they consider
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 8, 2006
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        Would it be sufficient to have the business team just come up with
        reasonably clear names/titles for each of the different acceptance criteria
        they consider important coming into the planning game, where conversations
        between the developers/testers and the business team would then flush out
        the details of each acceptance criteria?

        Steven Gordon


        On 3/8/06, starskysdad <mark.earney@...> wrote:
        >
        > Ok, I am currently reviewing the Story test activity within a recent
        > XP Project we have just completed. The issue I have other than that
        > of an immensely complex legacy system is that the Development and
        > Business teams are remote (and I mean several countries remote!!)
        >
        > I noticed during the planning phase that there seemed to be a
        > misunderstanding of the story tests by the developers and therefore
        > issues with the estimations on stories etc.
        >
        > I would like to mitigate this in the future - but don't want to go
        > down the waterfall route of making the story tests to prescribed and
        > turning it into a Requirements Spec - however the business process
        > and logic of the application is particularly complex and therefore I
        > would like to find a trade off that would allow the business team to
        > capture the story tests efficiently whilst also providing exactly
        > what the developers require.
        >
        > I will be analysing this with the development team for improvements
        > but wondered if anyone had any ideas on useful tools/templates for
        > capturing Story Tests ready for review with the developers - again I
        > know this is notthe actual discipline within XP but it is impossible
        > to have the dev's and users inthe same room :(
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • William Pietri
        ... Hi! Before I answer your question, one caution: Right now I m working with a team where the XP Customers are in a time zone 11.5 hours off from the
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 8, 2006
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          starskysdad wrote:
          > I will be analysing this with the development team for improvements
          > but wondered if anyone had any ideas on useful tools/templates for
          > capturing Story Tests ready for review with the developers - again I
          > know this is notthe actual discipline within XP but it is impossible
          > to have the dev's and users inthe same room :(
          >
          Hi! Before I answer your question, one caution:

          Right now I'm working with a team where the XP Customers are in a time
          zone 11.5 hours off from the developers. Despite the distance, they seem
          to have a good working relationship and good communication.

          My guess is that you will have a hard, hard time making a project work
          with only electronic communication. The Customer on this project has
          probably spent 20-25% of the project on site with the development team,
          and that has been immensely valuable.


          That said, here's my advice.

          Over time, you should jointly evolve some sort of approach to testing
          that is workable for the developers and readable for the business side.
          FIT and Fitnesse are interesting approaches, and custom scripting
          languages are another. The ancestor of FIT is the humble table, and the
          ancestor of scripting languages are the kinds of scripts that actors
          use. E.g.:

          Seller: Lists his old iPod for sale.
          Bidder 1: Enters maximum bid of $1.
          Bidder 2: Enters maximum bid of $10.
          System: Ends auction.
          Bidder 1: Receives notification saying, "Sorry, you were outbid."
          Bidder 2: Receives notification saying, "You won. Please pay $1.01".

          Take a story or two and try expressing your requirements as tables and
          scripts, and see if one of those suits you.

          William
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