User stories are one of the most visible artefacts of most agile methods and, as such, have generated large quantities of expert advice. In my experience, much of that advice is open to misinterpretation.
In this session, we'll explore several classic pieces of advice, to see how misunderstandings can cause problems, despite the best intentions. The examples we'll look at are:
- an acronym: INVEST, created by Bill Wake
- a technique: relative estimation using story points, created by Ron Jeffries or Joseph Pelrine
- a template: Connextra (As-A/I-Want/So-That), created by Rachel Davies
Expert advice taken in good faith, that leads to bad outcomes, can cause us to become distrustful. It's time to reiterate that there is no magic formula, no silver bullet. At best, experts can lend you a framework within which to think, but their advice will never make thinking unnecessary.