Quote of the Month January 2018 – User Stories Are Not Complete Requirements

User stories are not, and should not be, complete requirements for software development. People call user stories a placeholder for a conversation, meaning the stories capture the essence of what is wanted, but they don’t contain the detail. When the time comes to do the work, there will be a discussion about what the stories need.

I think of stories as tokens for work to be done. They are not the work itself—that has not yet been defined—but they represent the work. These tokens can be prioritized, shuffled, refined, changed, split, and more. When a token rises to the top of the pile, it is time to work on the story.

The first job is to understand what the job is. Conversations about stories are not just between the requirements person and the coder. If the team contains software testers, include them, too. Indeed, having the tester in the conversation is more important than having the coder.

User stories themselves need not be perfect; in fact, the biggest mistake with user stories is trying to make them exactly that. They should be transitory and short-lived: a means to an end,
not the end itself.

Source: A Little Book about Requirements and User Stories – Heuristics for requirements in an agile world, Allan Kelly, http://leanpub.com/userstories, ISBN 978-0-9933250-5-2

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