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Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories
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Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  443 ratings  ·  48 reviews
This book will help you write better user stories, spot and fix common issues, split stories so that they are smaller but still valuable, and deal with difficult stuff like crosscutting concerns, long-term effects and non-functional requirements. Above all, this book will help you achieve the promise of agile and iterative delivery: to ensure that the right stuff gets deli ...more
Paperback, 124 pages
Published October 15th 2014 by Neuri Consulting LLP (first published October 12th 2014)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  443 ratings  ·  48 reviews


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Sergey Shishkin
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In fact, this book contains more than fifty very good ideas, because every idea comes with a short anecdote highlighting its usefulness and context, as well as with practical guidance on how to put that idea in practice. It's densely packed with wisdom and will not only improve your user stories but iterative product development in general.
Sebastian Gebski
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Title says it all - it's hard to expect this book to be a real breakthrough, but there's a serious chance you can get something useful out of its 50 ideas.

What I liked most?
* I totally agree with "Start with no outputs"
* There was surprisingly much value in "Tell stories, don't write them"
* I like the approach described in "Avoid using numeric story sizes", but whenever I was preaching it, there was always a massive resistance (you'd be surprised with roles of the ones that have resisted)

What ab
...more
Victor
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-process
This book contained lot of new ideas for me. Some of them are context dependent, but many are wildly applicable. An overarching theme is that stories are a token for conversation. There are many ideas on how to improve the conversation, by focusing on collaboration, not trying to make everything fit a given format.

The third section, Discussing stories, contains a lot of ideas that are easy to put in practice. For example. we have tried diverge and merge in the team, and it proved to be a useful
...more
Jeff Dutra
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was okay. It definitely had some good and interesting ideas. This is a rare situation where I would recommend a book that I give a 3 out of 5.

Unfortunately the writing gets in the way. Writing well is not easy, but it is important when expressing ideas. I believe a great editor can help turn this book into a 4 instead of a 3 out of 5.

This book reminds of the quote from Stephen Wilbers  Mastering the Craft of Writing: How to Write With Clarity, Emphasis, and Style

"There’s not much to b
...more
Robson Castilho
Nov 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: software
Good book with nice tips about improving user stories. It's not an intro book about the topic (so it's not about INVEST). Instead, it provides a great number of ideas about planning your releases, getting fast feedback and validating the outcomes with your users.
Definitely recommended for everyone who's having problems to identify, write and validate stories.
Matteo Tomasulo
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: agile, methodology
It's appeared to me, but this book was a little stringed out. Some ideas are absolutely good and inspiring but I think that some of them, as repetition of others or for verbosity, are just a way to pad the book.
Nikolay
I liked this book - it consists of multiple interesting ideas regarding backlog management (BTW name '50 quick ideas to improve your Product Backlog' would better describe content of the book). This books is not for beginners and assume some experience working with backlog items (in any format).
It provides ideas for following activities:
* Creating stories
* Planning with stories
* Discussing stories
* Slitting stories
* Managing Iterative Delivery

All ideas accompany with examples from author's exper
...more
Evan Wondrasek
I took my sweet time with this one, but it was worth it, as each chapter was independent and this stuff would be very easy to overwhelm yourself with if taken all at once. I was on board with about 90% of the recommendations, with the main exceptions being at the end. This book is much more than writing good user stories; some of the most valuable information was about sequencing and iterative breakdowns. I genuinely plan to reread this book on a regular basis.
Gábor László Hajba
A good book on how to make user stories more effective. It summarizes best practices and common sense on the approach of planning and describing tasks to develop.

I will try these ideas as soon as I get to my next project where I am not just confronted with the stories to implement but with the features / epics which need to get smaller to fit into our head.
Henry Suryawirawan
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
This book provides very practical and useful tips on how to do Agile software delivery and user stories creation. While working on a customer engagement recently, I made use some of the tips from the book and was able to drive a successful inception workshop that ended up with a better MVP scoping that everyone was more confident of.
Francisco
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book

Its a good bock that explains in a practical way how to get better results from agility from the use of user stories. It explains very power tool and conceps that today very much companies should consider. For example the validation of outcome with real users, between a lot of other powerfull concepts.
Guillem Fernandez
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent compilation of ideas to help you refine your technique and solve some problems you have had at some point for sure. It’s a very easy to read book and a complete set of tips, very helpful and very recommended!
Nenad Vitorović
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good source of insights with a bunch real-world examples, and can be used as a reference/quick reminder/inspiration...
Bart Du Bois
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
plenty of useful tips
Elena Vladimirova
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read the whole thing a while ago, and I keep coming back to reread parts of it. This needs to be a course.
Kristjan
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Usually I try to avoid reading books, articles refering to "X number of ways to get Y". This however is excpetion.
gvgvgvijayan
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: user-stories
Nice book with collective information about the user stories from end to end analysis.
Clumsygadabout
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
A handy book to keep at your desk to use in conversation with project team, especially if there are members who are new to user stories.
Hania
Nicely written quick ideas how to improve user stories - creating stories, planning with stories, discussing stories, splitting stories, managing iterative delivery.
Davi Bauer
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: agile-scrum, agile
Good tips from telling stories to how to check deliverables. Gojko proves again that user stories are far from written documents. It is about telling stories about changes in behaviors from a observable and measurable way.

The observable side is a good cue to remember that stories are conversations (moreover, market is conversation, right?) about behaviors. If you are not generating an impacting in behaviors, the story is not worth being created.

The measurable side is what makes stories easier to
...more
Johnny
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
When you work with user stories you definitely should read this book by Gojko Adzic. In it you find a nice collection of simple things you can do to get more out of your user stories. Most of the ideas are easy to adapt or only offer you a different look at them. However, that little shift of perspective is often all it takes increase value. The book starts at the creation of user stories, goes on with the many points you can discuss and doesn’t fear to talk about splitting them apart. That is a ...more
Karl Metivier
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: agile
In the little book, we get a big load of information and useful references about working with User Stories. And the final result is very easy to read and beautifully illustrated book. The authors, through 50 quick tips, show us many aspects and things to think about. The tips are also classified into the following categories: creation, planning, discussion, splitting and managing delivery.

Have you some pains when working with User Stories? Do you have some questions and wonderings from time to t
...more
Eduardo
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Product Owners, Team leaders
This is the third book I read from Gojko Adzic. He has chosen the same format as in Specification by Example by providing a description of the problem, the benefits from the advice and how to make it work.
Some of the advices may not apply to your scenario but at least 2 or 3 will. In my case some more.

I think is a great book, both as a reading and as consultancy. If you are a Product owner or a development team leader give it a try.

I've pass my copy to the product owners of my company and they a
...more
Georgi Danov
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have never highlighted so much in a book. This is the book I have waited for someone to write for many years. The book is excellent in describing anti-patterns and their consequences. The ideas are all good and what is very important — part of pretty consistent system.

If you have lost your way in the complexity of managing big product in demanding conditions, this book will help you get out of the mud.
Ivan
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
A compilation of tips related with User Stories and tips to prioritize them. Some of the ideas come from other books and many of them are only useful for big companies or companies with problems to decide where to go.

For me was a book hard to finish, but if you work as a Product Owner could be useful to buy and keep it as a reference book when you have problems prioritazing the stories or want to try to innovate a bit.
Daniel
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: management
This book is at the same time repetitive and too much summarized.

Most examples do not help understand the context for the idea. In general there is not much context, only ideas.

Also there is a lot of "what is wrong with other ways of working", which doesn't help improving any user story.

The section Splitting Stories has some interesting ideas and examples.
Vojtech
Oct 20, 2014 rated it liked it
For the most part this book is a source of great information. I found many chapters very relevant to what we're experiencing at my workplace. My only qualm is that doesn't read very pleasantly and at times I had to really struggle to get through. And it's a pretty short book, mind you. That's why I can't give it more than 3 stars.
Nathanael Coyne
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wish I'd got this book sooner - it's a real gem. Concise and clear, well-written and laid out with excellent advice and guidance on how to plan, analyse, write, assess and execute user stories. Every agile developer should read this, but it's absolutely essential for product owners. There's too many people who don't really *get* user stories; this book will sort them out fast.
Jaroslav Urban
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: agile, management, 2016
The book has quite nice collection of useful tips with the explanation. I would say it is more for someone who already has some experiences with sw development as PM or analytic. Still it does not hurt to read it by anyone involved. You might look smart though during stand ups ;-) Enjoy.
Stijn
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: it
Short chapters with clear ideas and useful examples (although a bit short sometimes). Not all of the tips are useful for my specific context, but none of them felt like fillers to get to the total of 50, which you often get with 'X things on subject Y' titles.
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Gojko Adzic is a partner at Neuri Consulting LLP, winner of the 2016 European Software Testing Outstanding Achievement Award, and the 2011 Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Award. Gojko's book Specification by Example won the Jolt Award for the best book of 2012, and his blog won the UK Agile Award for the best online publication in 2010.

Gojko is a frequent keynote speaker at leading so
...more

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