Information Technology Dark Side

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Book Review: User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn

June 15th, 2008 · No Comments

I’m pretty much allergic to any form of requirements documentation. Change control makes my skin itch, and big up front planning makes me vomit. But I also am not totally comfortable with winging it all the time. As a project manager, I need to get a sense of how big the project is, what are the pieces and parts, and how will the product be used. And I need it fast, flexible, and without much overhead. Oh yeah, don’t forget I have to also be able to use it to plan iterations, drive development and testing, and report status. All without making comprehensive documentation more important than working software or processes and tools more important than individuals and interactions.

That’s why I’m glad I discovered User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn. It is a short, practical explanation of how to plan, estimate, and execute an agile project with user stories. These lightweight requirements never get in the way or replace conversations with users and customers. Instead, they help you keep track of what you’re going to build and serve as a reminder to talk to SME’s about what they mean. You can use them to report status, to plan iterations, and to get an overview of the product’s feature set.

I wholeheartedly endorse this book for all project managers.

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Tags: Books And Movies · Uncategorized

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