Mel Lang is a team lead at XING’s Barcelona office. She has written this nice article about crafting a good user story. Her advice goes beyound user stories.
»The way we do small things determines the way we do everything« (Robin Sharma)
If you start anything with a team, create clarity and alignment at the beginning by applying the good practice of writing user stories:
- State WHAT you want to do in very simple, meaningful terms. If you ramble on or have a generic buzzword statement you don’t know what you want (yet).
- Explain the WHY behind your WHAT. Teams need context in order to think with you and framing the solution.
- Leave the HOW to the team. Everybody wants to contribute. And they can once the WHAT and WHY are clear. Still help with guidance and support whereever it is necessary.
- Be clear about how success looks like. Have a key performance indicator (KPI) and define the ambition level for it. This aligns expectations and makes the WHAT operational.
Nota bene: the KPI is not the WHAT as the WHAT is usually more complex than just a one-dimensional measure. The KPI is an agreement on what is the next step the team wants to achieve towards the WHAT.
- Define any boundaries. Say what is out of scope and which lines must mot be crossed. This increases the freedom of the team within the defined playing field.
Mel Lang: Backlog Grooming and Definition of Ready