In introducing Agile, a key element User Stories will allow a beginner to grasp core Agile values and associated principles, and use them as a primary vehicle for hearing the voice of the customer.
Breaking up user stories can sometimes be as painful as a relationship break up – but it does not have to be like that!
Our experience has shown us that the key to getting full benefit from introducing Agile is in how the team’s work is broken up. When it gets difficult to see how to write small enough user stories, teams often resort to technical story cards. While this may give the team visibility of the work that is being done, the business is not seeing potentially implementable product, or early delivery of business value.
This talk will expose the real reasons for splitting up user stories and not just talk about doing it as a good practice – we must BE Agile not just DO Agile!
Using real-world examples, this talk will also offer a set of guidelines and some unconventional ways for breaking up larger chunks of work into valuable user stories that can help Agile teams become more successful.
Do you have a large User Story that you believe is impossible to split? Bring it to this session and be prepared to be surprised!
This interactive session will inspire and encourage every Agile practitioner to simplify User Stories and to think like a Customer.
The presenter will be drawing upon their extensive Agile experience to share learning’s and use real case studies and examples of user stories to illustrate the following:
- Understanding that making stories smaller may be the least important part for splitting up stories
- Anti-patterns to look out for when trying to break up user stories
- Knowing when NOT to break up user stories
- A set of guidelines and some unconventional ways to follow when breaking up larger features / epics into valuable user stories
- How to ensure that it can all still be put together after the break up
- How to convert the most common ‘Excuses’ into ‘Opportunities’ to break up User Stories.
This talk is conducted in a fast paced, highly-interactive style to keep the audience engaged throughout. Light-hearted humour is used to make the analogy between relationship break ups and user story break ups.
Outline of the session
Introduction and setting the scene – Why are break ups (be it real life relationships or User Stories) so difficult?
The perfect User Story – is there such a thing?
Breaking up – a set of guidelines to follow when breaking up larger chunks of work (epics) into valuable user stories. The presenter will be drawing upon their extensive Agile experience to share learning’s and use real-world examples of user stories to illustrate how this is done.
One format that has worked really well for this presentation in the past is breaking up this (core) 25-min section of this talk into 3 segments (with 2 short ‘commercial breaks’ in between). During these 2 ‘breaks’, the session is turned into an open-forum kind of style where a couple of seed questions are planted to encourage some insightful discussions. A couple of example questions are When is the best time to break up? or Who should initiate a break up?. These sorts of questions get the audience really excited. These discussions are lead to become a nice segue into the next segment.
Conclusion: Call to Action to convert every ‘Excuse’ into an ‘Opportunity’ to break up!
Q & A
May even challenge the audience to come up with large Users Stories that are unbreakable!
As the presentation title says, there will be 10 break-up techniques covered during the talk – 3 of which will be done with audience participation. These will be treated as exercise for the audience. The mechanics of this will be is really simple regardless of the size of the audience.
In addition to that, there are several other opportunities for audience interactions throughout the presentation.
While this presentation is mainly targeted towards beginner and intermediate levels, expert Agile practitioners will also get a lot of benefits out of this talk. I also use this talk as a segment of the Agile Fundamentals and the Scrum Master Certification courses that I teach… it is ideal for going back to the basics.
I will be sharing a lot of tips and techniques for splitting up user stories that are unconventional and not commonly found in published patterns and methods. Audiences in my previous sessions connected really well with the real life user stories from real projects.
All attendees will also get to hear a lot of little ‘gems’ (general Agile tips and tricks of the trade) that are based on my hands-on experience in this area. The little ‘gems’ peppered throughout this talk ensures that participants of all experience levels are inspired!