Archive for the ‘Check this out’ Category
We’re moving forward with the project to the point that we need to pin down just how the service will work, so we know exactly what we’re building.
Within the framework of Agile software development, this phase of the project consists of writing user stories. With a service like this one, this phase consists of writing a lot of user stories. Each of the index cards on this very large wall is at least one user story (some are epic user stories, which, as the name suggests, means they need some breaking down):
User stories are short statements that describe what users want to do. Each user story specifies which type of user we are talking about (for example, an administrator versus an unregistered user) and then says what they want to do. Each also includes acceptance criteria — how we will know the goal of the user story has been met. Here’s an example:
As an SME, I want to report an internationalisation success story. [Acceptance criteria: success story must be attached to company name]
As you can probably surmise, the user story process is a long one, and the more you want your service to do, the longer the process takes! Last week we pulled together a group that included both UKTI representatives and Made by Many folks, and we got to work on the first round of user stories.
We made some headway on the project but the work is nowhere near done. Over the coming weeks we’ll continue generating new user stories and refining the ones we have until we are satisfied they are all clear and complete. From there we will estimate each (how much effort they take) and then prioritise them. The goal is to structure work so we release working software sooner than later, and then improve on or add to it in an iterative way.
We should be able to post more user stories in a more readable format in the next couple of weeks… we just need to work through a two-inch stack of index cards first!
I spotted a couple of things in my personal Twitter feed today that I thought would be relevant to this blog. Here they are:
Looking for funding? Forbes.com’s Martin Zwilling reports on Seven Investors To Avoid
Trying to do something new… or do something old in a new way? The Heart of Innovation blog reports on 50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation (my favourite is number 5: ‘Make new mistakes’)