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).
- Publisher : Addison-Wesley Professional; 1st edition (March 1, 2004)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0321205685
- ISBN-13 : 978-0321205681
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 7 x 0.65 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #121,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I'm continuing with the book and have just now found the answer to what an automated test is in Chapter 6, and automated testing was first mentioned in Chapter 2.
I can't speak for all readers obviously, but I find myself doing Google searches to fill in the blanks this book leaves. Unfortunately there aren't a lot of books written on this subject (on Amazon anyways), so it can be difficult to supplement.
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!
Top reviews from other countries
The first chapter will convince you why User stories are orders of magnitude better than the use cases you know and love.
Each of the subsequent short chapters is tightly focused and covers a key aspect of user stories (e.g. writing good stories, user profile mapping. using stories in planning and estimating etc.). As you go through the book, you can see how the different pieces of user stories fit together and how user stories themselves fit into a software development process. (The book itself leans heavily towards an agile process such as Scrum or XP although the exact process does not really matter)
Despite its directness and succinctness, it is a very engaging and thought-provoking book.
If you want to understand behaviour-driven development, specification-by-example or user story mapping (each of which is adequately in a book by a key populariser/practitioner of the respective technique) you should really read this book first. And even if you never practice any of those techniques, you should still read this book if you want to learn how to capture software requirements effectively in the modern, agile, test-driven world.
It is one of that crop of brilliantly written, painstakingly edited software engineering books written by luminaries in their fields, that were published by Addison-Wesley in the 2000s: Refactoring by Fowler, Test-Driven Deveopment by Beck, this book, Pattern-oriented software architecture I and II, Patterns of Enterprise Software Integration (Fowler et. al.) and many others. They remain as relevant and thought-provoking today as when they were first written.
This is a good book for anyone to read who works in scrum or XP. Will help to set expectations of what a User story really is, and what a user story isn't. Uses very good, sound examples.