User Stories Applied For Agile Software Development

by Mike Cohn

March 2004

Thoroughly reviewed and eagerly anticipated by the agile community, User Stories Applied offers a requirements process that saves time, eliminates rework, and leads to better software. A great 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.

Featured contents include:

  • 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 accepptance testing
  • Using stories to prioritize, set schedule, and estimate release cost
  • 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.

Table of Contents

Download Table of Contents
Download Foreword by Kent Beck
Download Introduction
Part 1: Getting Started
  1. An Overview
Download 2. Writing Stories
  3. User Role Modeling
  4. Gathering Stories
  5. Working With User Proxies
  6. Acceptance Testing User Stories
  7. Guidelines for Good Stories
Part 2: Estimating and Planning
  8. Estimating User Stories
  9. Planning a Release
  10. Planning an Iteration
  11. Measuring and Monitoring Velocity
Part 3: Frequently Discussed Topics
  12. What Stories Are Not
  13. Why User Stories?
  14. A Catalog of Story Smells
  15. Using Stories with Scrum
  16. Additional Topics
Part 4: An Example
  17. The User Roles
  18. The Stories
  19. Estimating the Stories
  20. The Release Plan
  21. The Acceptance Tests
Part 5: Appendices
  A. An Overview of Extreme Programming
  B. Answers to Questions

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