Saturday, December 24, 2011

SCRUM- Who should write a user story

Traditionally user stories (or requirements) were written by Business analysts. They used to prepare big documents after months of study. It was a herculean task. I used to get such UI/Functional specification documents. I have fixed a lot of bugs because I missed few text in such 1000 + pages document. This is not the only interesting part. Some of the requirements were so weird that I often wondered why I am creating the features which no one is going to use. If I had the option I would have recommended a better option. If the BA’s misunderstood some requirements & customers failed to correct those few words in the epic requirement then we will have a nice situation.

In the agile world the story is different. Product Owners are primarily responsible for user stories. But can anyone else also contribute? Yes. Definitely yes
In actual environment many users write user stories. The first requirement may come from end user. The PO, tech architect, scrum master, BA’s... anyone can update this but ultimately it is the PO who is responsible for the backlog.
User stories should be written in a non -technical manner from the perspective of an end user
e.g.
As an x user I should be able to xyz actions.

This user story will be further sliced. The PO (or story writer) shouldn’t spend months is defining the backlog. After fine tuning the stories to an extent this should be put to review to the scrum team. The entire scrum team should work on these stories to understand it perfectly. Any technical constraints /limitations should be noted down & presented to customer. Scrum emphasizes this team work. It’s better to have 5 brains working together than one. The most important section out of these discussions/workshops will be the condition of acceptance (COA’s). Generally these COA’s are not technical. NFR’s can be added as constraints to these conditions.
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