Re: story template abuse (was Re: [scrumdevelopment] Letting attacks go unchallenged)
- I don't know who started that either, but the idea is to put the "why"
first because that is the part that is about business value. Many of
the the Cucumber folks have taken to writing features that way.
FWIW, I still do it the way I learned in XP. I always write what. I
only write who if who is particular to the story. For example, "An
admin can do..." I only write why when why is not obvious. For
example, "If a case is idle for three minutes it gets forwarded to
another agent so that cases are dealt with in roughly the order they
On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 4:08 PM, Michael James <michael@...> wrote:
> I'm lukewarm about the story template, for all the reasons people have written about.
> One of the folks doing behavior-driven-development (I forgot who) advocated turning the template around to put the rationale first. In some cases, teams have lost sight of the rationale so I can see this being useful in those cases. For example "In order to ___(access his balance), a ___(bank customer) can ____(log in with username and password)." Anyone tried this?
> Or maybe we should advocate against any templates. Starts to feel like that train wreck called the RUP.
> On Feb 1, 2010, at 3:57 PM, Adam Sroka wrote:
> > +1
> > To put it a slightly different way: What scientists do is use their
> > insights and intuition to decide what to investigate and then use
> > their tools to make hopefully quite definitive statements about the
> > thing they are investigating.
> > What is useful about the template is that it points out three things
> > that one should know about a User Story: Who is the user that this
> > story is valuable to? What does that user need to be able to do? And,
> > Why is that valuable to the user? If you don't know those three things
> > you probably don't understand the problem well enough to make it into
> > a story.
> > The problem is the assumption that if you have a who, a what, and a
> > why then you automatically have a story. Also, that every requirement
> > you can think of is a story and you just need to come up with a who, a
> > what, and a why and then put it on the board.
> > What I believe is that you should know who, what, and why, that these
> > things should demonstrate obvious value to the user and the customer.
> > If you have all that then you probably have a good story. The next
> > step is to decide how to write it down:
> > I think it is important to write down the what part.
> > The who can be implicit - often it is any user of the system. Writing
> > "As a user..." is useless and redundant. If there are different users
> > of your system that want to do different things with it then it is
> > probably useful to communicate that if this is one of those things
> > that only certain users do.
> > Writing things like: "As the system," "As the PO," "As a developer,"
> > etc are bright, giant red flags. My advise is to never, ever do that.
> > Those are not users, and the thing they want to do is almost certainly
> > not a user story.
> > The why can also be implicit. It becomes important to say something
> > about why on those occasions where why is not intuitive. For example,
> > if team members are continually asking why the user wants to do
> > something then get the answer and write it down.
> > Having said all that, I think that the template is purely an optional
> > thing and a matter of preference. However, understanding how a user
> > story derives value for your users is not optional.
> > On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 2:18 PM, Laurent Bossavit <laurent@...> wrote:
> >>> I feel a kid being made to write "I must not do X" a 1000 times in a
> >>> chalkboard
> >> I feel for you. I'm learning Special Relativity, it's a pain to have
> >> to go through all these sines and cosines and diagrams and whatnot.
> >> It's all relative, the twins aren't the same age when the first one
> >> returns to Earth: see, I *got* it already! What do I have to do all
> >> this *math* for?
> >> And yet...
> >> The "As a..." format is a thinking tool. If you use it insincerely, it
> >> will fail you in the same way that cosines will fail you if you use
> >> them because it feels like you should. Rather, when you use the tool
> >> as a way to get to answers that were previously hard to get to, and
> >> use it over and over again, you will find that your capacity to solve
> >> these problems "naturally" eventually takes over. You can then let go
> >> of the tool.
> >> As long as you find a thinking tool irritating, you may not have fully
> >> "got it".
> >> It's a separate question entirely whether the thinking tool is worth
> >> learning. Perhaps it isn't. If you feel it isn't, just tell your
> >> teacher/trainer/coach/whatever that you refuse to learn it, and
> >> present your reasons why. Skepticism is a thinking tool too. Laziness
> >> - the refusal to overcome or confront the discomfort of learning -
> >> isn't.
> >> Cheers,
> >> Laurent Bossavit
> >> laurent@...
> > ------------------------------------
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Doesn't it seem a bit disproportionate, though? It does to me. I too
am curious what aspect of the human condition causes us to attribute
so much power to these words. The word "fuck" for example - though it
has an accepted definition in common use its meaning is entirely
contextual. It doesn't even convey a useful concept, therefore. So,
why is its presence in speech (or writing) so important to us?_,_.___
Why does a "wardrobe malfunction" produce a massive emotional response including congressional investigations? Beats me. Probably has something to do with the Puritans and maybe that repression amplifies the response.
Having said that, I do live in a less prudish part of the world (more sex on TV, more tolerance for public nudism, less sensitivity to obscene language). Even here, scatological references don't have much place in public discourse - you might occasionally hear 'Scheisse' from a politician's mouth, but it's an exception.
An interesting question is why modesty developed, why it lives on, and whether it will survive the Internet. It seems pretty deeply rooted, but I think that question belongs on a different list...
-- Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP www.scrum-breakfast.com tel: +41 44 586 6450