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Limiting a story to one 'scenario'

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  • Scott Bogartz
    Is a story that is limited to only one scenario (i.e. no conditional statements - excuse the UML terminology) to fine grained. In Peter Merel s The Tao of
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 1, 2001
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      Is a story that is limited to only one scenario (i.e. no conditional
      statements - excuse the UML terminology) to fine grained. In Peter
      Merel's "The Tao of Extreme Programming" he uses the following
      example of a story:

      "The owners and their friends, but noone else, need an easy way to
      enter the house from the street"

      Would it be overkill to break this down into several stories like
      this:

      "The owner needs an easy way to enter the house"
      "The owner needs to provide an easy way for his friends to enter the
      house"
      "Strangers cannot enter the house from the street"

      I am just thinking that dealing with the various exception conditions
      might be too complex to get done in one iteration, so we would be
      better off breaking it down further. It is a bit more difficult to
      track, because there is we do not want to release into real
      production before we have a way of preventing strangers from entering
      the house. However, we can we can keep a better grasp on the
      requirements and the iterations this way.

      The previous example was pretty trivial, but consider something like
      this.

      "At the end of the pay period the employee recieves a pay check for
      his hours and pay rate that period with all appropriate taxes and
      dues removed"

      Compared to
      "At the end of the pay period the employee's base pay is his hours
      worked times his pay rate"
      "State taxes are deducted from the employee's pay"
      "Federal taxes are deducted from the employee's pay"
      "Union dues are deducted from union member's pay"....
    • Ron Jeffries
      ... Breaking things down too far has some advantages and few disadvantages. The biggest advantage, to me, is that it lets you have separate priorities and
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 1, 2001
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        Around Thursday, November 01, 2001, 9:05:07 AM, Scott Bogartz wrote:

        > Is a story that is limited to only one scenario (i.e. no conditional
        > statements - excuse the UML terminology) to fine grained. In Peter
        > Merel's "The Tao of Extreme Programming" he uses the following
        > example of a story:

        > "The owners and their friends, but noone else, need an easy way to
        > enter the house from the street"

        > Would it be overkill to break this down into several stories like
        > this:

        > "The owner needs an easy way to enter the house"
        > "The owner needs to provide an easy way for his friends to enter the
        > house"
        > "Strangers cannot enter the house from the street"

        > I am just thinking that dealing with the various exception conditions
        > might be too complex to get done in one iteration, so we would be
        > better off breaking it down further. It is a bit more difficult to
        > track, because there is we do not want to release into real
        > production before we have a way of preventing strangers from entering
        > the house. However, we can we can keep a better grasp on the
        > requirements and the iterations this way.

        Breaking things down too far has some advantages and few
        disadvantages. The biggest advantage, to me, is that it lets you have
        separate priorities and estimates on parts of the original story.

        For example, an easy way for owner to enter, and no strangers getting
        in, are probably both very high priority. Friends getting in easily is
        likely a "nice to have".

        The breakdown is also very good practice for the customer, so that
        they'll be good at it when you really need it.

        > "At the end of the pay period the employee recieves a pay check for
        > his hours and pay rate that period with all appropriate taxes and
        > dues removed"

        > Compared to
        > "At the end of the pay period the employee's base pay is his hours
        > worked times his pay rate"
        > "State taxes are deducted from the employee's pay"
        > "Federal taxes are deducted from the employee's pay"
        > "Union dues are deducted from union member's pay"....

        Nice example. I'd sure break things out at least this way. Even
        further if there are multiple unions or if I'm not using a commercial
        tax package.

        Regards,

        Ron Jeffries
        www.XProgramming.com
        Fear is the mindkiller. --Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
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