User Stories Applied

User Stories Applied : For Agile Software Development

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The concept of user stories has its roots as one of the main tenets of Extreme Programming. In simple terms, user stories represent an effective means of gathering requirements from the customer (roughly akin to use cases). This book describes user stories and demonstrates how they can be used to properly plan, manage, and test software development projects. The book highlights both successful and unsuccessful implementations of the concept, and provides sets of questions and exercises that drive home its main points. After absorbing the lessons in this book, readers will be able to introduce user stories in their organizations as an effective means of determining precisely what is required of a software application.
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Pearson Programming and Web Development

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 175 x 234 x 18mm | 500g
  • Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • Repr.
  • 0321205685
  • 9780321205681
  • 29,769

Back cover copy

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

ISBN: 0-321-20568-5
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Table of contents




1: An Overview.

What Is a User Story?

Where Are the Details?

"How Long Does It Have to Be?"

The Customer Team.

What Will the Process Be Like?

Planning Releases and Iterations.

What Are Acceptance Tests?

Why Change?



2: Writing Stories.



Valuable to Purchasers or Users.





Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.


3: User Role Modeling.

User Roles.

Role Modeling Steps.

Two Additional Techniques.

What If I Have On-Site Users?


Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.


4: Gathering Stories.

Elicitation and Capture Should Be Illicit.

A Little Is Enough, or Is It?


User Interviews.



Story-Writing Workshops.


Developer Responsibilities.

Customer Responsibilities.


5: Working with User Proxies.

The Users' Manager.

A Development Manager.


Domain Experts.

The Marketing Group.

Former Users.


Trainers and Technical Support.

Business or Systems Analysts.

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About Mike Cohn

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).
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Rating details

2,677 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
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4 39% (1,053)
3 25% (657)
2 5% (136)
1 2% (56)
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