- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (March 11, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321205685
- ISBN-13: 978-0321205681
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 105 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Agile requirements: discovering what your users really want. With this book, you will learn to:
- Flexible, quick and practical requirements that work
- Save time and develop better software that meets users' needs
- Gathering user stories -- even when you can't talk to users
- How user stories work, and how they differ from use cases, scenarios, and traditional requirements
- Leveraging user stories as part of planning, scheduling, estimating, and testing
- Ideal for Extreme Programming, Scrum, or any other agile methodology
Thoroughly reviewed and eagerly anticipated by the agile community, User Stories Applied offers a requirements process that saves time, eliminates rework, and leads directly to better software.
The best way to build software that meets users' needs is to begin with "user stories": simple, clear, brief descriptions of functionality that will be valuable to real users. In User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn provides you with a front-to-back blueprint for writing these user stories and weaving them into your development lifecycle.
You'll learn what makes a great user story, and what makes a bad one. You'll discover practical ways to gather user stories, even when you can't speak with your users. Then, once you've compiled your user stories, Cohn shows how to organize them, prioritize them, and use them for planning, management, and testing.
- User role modeling: understanding what users have in common, and where they differ
- Gathering stories: user interviewing, questionnaires, observation, and workshops
- Working with managers, trainers, salespeople and other "proxies"
- Writing user stories for acceptance testing
- Using stories to prioritize, set schedules, and estimate release costs
- Includes end-of-chapter practice questions and exercises
User Stories Applied will be invaluable to every software developer, tester, analyst, and manager working with any agile method: XP, Scrum... or even your own home-grown approach.
Boston, MA 02116
About the Author
Mike Cohn is the founder of Mountain Goat Software, a process and project management consultancy and training firm. With more than twenty years of experience, Mike has been a technology executive in companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 40s, and is a founding member of the Agile Alliance. He frequently contributes to industry-related magazines and presents regularly at conferences. He is the author of User Stories Applied (Addison-Wesley, 2004).
Top customer reviews
The User Story is the structural element of Agile in Terms of Requirements Management and emanated as concept out of Extreme Programming. The book introduces nicely and smoothly what are the "User Stories", the qualities of good "User Stories", the Roles and "Personas" owning the "User Stories", the process to Generate, Estimate, Plan and Test the User Stories.
At the end of each chapter there is a summary of the main ideas but also a series of questions to test understanding (with their answers provided at the end of the book).
The language is smooth and the read is very understandable even for the newcomers in the Agile World. The book offers also a valuable "hands on" feeling of the mechanisms built around user stories through a detailed description of the dialogues that would evolve among team members in a real life example (Part IV).
As a "Bonus", the book offers a short introduction to the Scrum Process (which a widely used process and is a kind of orchestration part for Agile) and to Extreme Programming.
The book can serve both as a textbook for teaching "User Stories" or as a book to comprehend a little deeper the requirements management processes of Agile once the process has been understood ("Essential Scrum" from the same author could be the one).
Of all the risks in any software development project, the most dangerous (possibly fatal) risk is not bad code or incomplete tests - it is getting the requirements wrong. The impact can be anywhere from highly dissatisfied clients to unemployed development teams.
One of biggest advantages of Agile development is that it directly addresses the reality of changing system requirements and how to keep a project aimed directly for the key business goal even in such a fluid environment. User Stories, and how they are used in an Agile Project Management context, are a key tool in ensuring project success (AKA client satisfaction).
Project Managers, Scrum Masters, Lead Developers, QA and Test Leads, Product Owners as well as Business Analysts should read this text. So much of software development process thinking has to do with "doing the thing, in right manner" (AKA good system-building technique). This book covers "doing the right thing" (AKA building the right product).
I really like the concept of keeping requirements simple and putting details in the test case descriptions. I've created a custom field in my project tracking tool do just this. It's a great help to have a definition of all the test cases with pass/fail criteria right there with the statement of what the customer wants. It makes it so easy to know when your done, or as a project lead, to check if a task is really complete (Are the test cases identified with the task written in our automated test suite and passing? If not, you're not done!)
If you can't tell yet, I love this book. I expect to reference it regularly. If you're not satisfied with the way your organization does requirements (and I've yet to meet anyone who does!), READ THIS BOOK. Even if you don't buy in completely to every suggestion, I am certain you will find ideas that you will embrace!
The key-idea of user stories is that conversations and understanding via documentation is often wasteful and inefficient. User Stories describes a requirement in such a way that we can remember it in the future. At the time the requirement is ready to be implemented, we'll discuss the requirement in more detail. That way we can delay some of the requirement analysis and move it closer to when we implement it. This reduces "requirement inventory" and can lead to less waste in the development process. Whether and how to use user stories in your project depends on many different variables and user stories explained will explain the details of user stories, the different types of user stories and give plenty of examples. All this is needed for a better understanding and for deciding how user stories can help you on your project.
The book is well written, though personally I found that it contained too much text. There was quite much repetition and that made the book slightly boring after a 100 pages. It could have been written with less text, in my opinion. Another drawback of the book was that the examples given didn't feel real enough. It would have been nice to cover some larger projects and also discuss how user stories would work on these.
In conclusion, User Stories Applied is the definitive and only reference on user stories and when interested in user stories or when working with user stories, this is an absolute must!