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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensible Requirements Analysis - Help is Here
How hard can it be to write Stories? The answer seems to be both "pretty simple" and "kind of tricky". Writing short sentences is a skill many of us have mastered by now, but working with people is the challenging part of any job. How many projects have delivered exactly what the Customer *specified*, but not quite what they need? Mike teaches us to...
Published on Aug. 2 2004 by dpreuss

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Structure of this book can be improved
There are few points to add to this book:
1.P63 states FOUR points while it has (P64) only THREE points
2.English wording structuring in the sentence. (I don't mean to insult but to state what I've seen)
Published 15 months ago by fighter


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensible Requirements Analysis - Help is Here, Aug. 2 2004
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Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
How hard can it be to write Stories? The answer seems to be both "pretty simple" and "kind of tricky". Writing short sentences is a skill many of us have mastered by now, but working with people is the challenging part of any job. How many projects have delivered exactly what the Customer *specified*, but not quite what they need? Mike teaches us to keep our Stories simple enough that the team can really communicate with the Customer, responding to the complexities they express as a project progresses.
The book is practical and addresses not just the practice of User Stories, but also how to plan for their use and manage them within different kinds of projects. It includes an introduction to Agile approaches like Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum, but does not presume that all teams must work in this manner.
Cohn's writing style is crystal clear. The layout of the book is superb, and the material is well developed to make the most of this structure, with short sections clearly titled. While readable as a training manual, the detailed table of contents also makes it valuable as a reference book.
For Agile teams, this book provides a condensation of valuable experience, and practical advice. And if your team is stuck in analysis paralysis, spinning to refine and refine requirements, this book may provide the "aha" you are looking for.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for those new to XP!, July 15 2004
By 
Michele Sliger "Agile Coach & Trainer" (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
I was once part of a new XP project where the users were very confused as to how to write a user story, having written nothing but detailed requirements their entire lives. The developers, also new to XP, didn't completely comprehend that they were to actually work with and talk to the users to elicit further details. Oh, if only I had had this book then! I would have purchased a copy for every user and every developer! There is a huge mental shift that has to take place when embracing agile methodologies, and Mike Cohn's book is an excellent catalyst for that change, making it a less painful transformation for those players involved. Cohn even spells out each group's responsibilities at the end of every chapter -- there's no ambiguity around who's supposed to do what. There are lots of examples that are easily understood, and the layout provides you with the information you and your team need in a logical sequence. Chapter 4 has a fabulous section called "Story Writing Workshop" that again provides that step-by-step hand-holding that first-timers need. I highly recommend this book. It's an excellent primer on the process of defining requirements in an agile environment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 8/10, June 24 2004
Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
I give this book eight out of ten.
What I like about it:
It is well written and easy to read. The book is presented in a nice flowing style that I found mostly friendly and enjoyable.
Each chapter concludes with a summary of the information from that chapter and questions to help reinforce learning process.
At the end of each chapter are listed the responsibilities for the developer and those for the customer roles.
The book covers user stories. It does what it sets out to do. The title describes it well.
The contents are well thought through and seem to cover most questions that I get asked on a regular basis relating to user stories.
In order to get a ten:
It would be shorter. It feels like a lot of reading to get what is in fact a simple idea. It takes too long to get all the information from the book. I can see the struggle involved in getting all the information into the book and at the same time keeping it concise.
The book would contain some hands on exercises (or walk through examples) for the reader to follow the entire process. Part IV presents an example but is taken from an external examination point of view. I would like to be drawn in and become part of the process so I can get a better understanding of user stories.
For more of Dr. Neil's reviews go to [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars User Stories Demystified, June 2 2004
Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
User Stories Demystified - As you leaf through Mike Cohn's new book "User Stories Applied", the first thing you will experience is a dramatic sense of relief. A certain calm will come over you because at last you have in your hands a very clear, succinct, step-by-step view into the what, when, where, how, and why of user stories. Mike's delivery of this material is richly simple in that he manages to sift through the many worries and controversies that surround the role of user stories in an agile project environment and takes us to the nuggets. At the same time, he sparks the fundamentals with a variety of suggestions for implementation based on his extensive experience. In various XP teams in which I have worked, an early challenge of the team had always been around the ability of the team to shift from requirements and design documents and detailed test plans to user stories. Writing them was tortuous; later interpretation of them felt fuzzy. With Mike's guidance, we would have known not only how to write, estimate, prioritize, and test our stories, we would have also had ample guidance on who should be paying attention to what in each step of the stories' lifecycle. If you are beginning a new project, release, sprint, or iteration, don't move another step without distributing Mike's book across the team as pre-requisite reading. They'll all thank you for it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Rapid development cycles using user stories, April 15 2004
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Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
Devising the specifications for a software project can be a squishy affair. A programmer may not be skilled at eliciting requirements from users. This can be very much a qualitative, fuzzy interaction. Far removed from writing of code, where one can usually objectively measure the functionality.
But Cohn points out that the users' needs cannot be ignored for the project to be successful. He says that in the drawing up of these needs, the effort should be equally influenced by both the users and the programmers. An imbalance here can adversely affect the usefulness of the project.
He devotes the book towards what he says the group should draw up. User stories. These are functionalities needed by the eventual users. He considers user stories to be of lesser scope than use cases, where the latter may be better known to most. The main merit of a user story seems to be that it involves a "bite-sized" programming effort. He suggests less than 10 days of development. So that a team could quickly iterate through several development cycles, with the cost of a bad choice of user story being small.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! Practical advice on writing user stories, and more, March 14 2004
By 
Lisa Crispin (Denver, CO United States) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
This excellent book is a must-have for anyone on an agile team - developers, testers, business experts, analysts - and for anyone who struggles with requirements, planning, or estimating on any software project.
User Stories Applied is easy to read and digest. As the title suggests, its techniques are easy to apply and deliver huge value. Each chapter summarizes developer and customer responsibilities, and has questions whose answers are provided in an appendix. The book is full of real-life, concrete examples, allowing you to learn from the successes and failures of others.
This book will give you many tools to help your projects succeed. Just a few of the most valuable topics:
When are user stories too big, too small, too detailed, too general, too open ended, when are they not user stories, and how to correct all these.
Why use user stories.
How to handle requirements for infrastructure, performance, qualitative aspects, UI.
How to ask questions to elicit requirements.
How to cope when you don't have 'on-site customers'.
Practical ways to estimate stories.
Monitoring velocity and progress.
When to keep and when to discard artifacts.
Mike explores the differences between stories and other techniques for delivering requirements: IEEE 380, use cases, scenarios. He points out many positive side effects of user stories, such as encouraging participatory design and tacit knowledge accumulation.
I particularly like that the book emphasizes the team's responsibility to successfully complete each iteration. I enjoy Mike's illuminating bits of wisdom, such as the "everything takes 4 hours" example. I love the comprehensive example in Part IV. No matter what your level of experience, you'll put the ideas in this book to immediate and productive use.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a modest title, March 28 2004
Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
Everyone has struggled with requirements management; there is even an industry that provides fancy tools for it. In this book, Mike puts them out of business. Using 3x5 cards, common sense, and team work, Mike shows how to how to manage requirements in a straightforward way that minimizes hoopla and maximizes value. Mike doesn't tell us how to do it, he shows us how to do it. And, without making a big deal out of it, Mike shows us how to manage our requirements while introducing acceptance test driven development.
When I got done with Mike's book, I knew how to manage requirements with minimum overhead, to only manage the requirements that were important at that time, and to implement requirements traceability. Quite a bit for such an unassuming title. Read this book, give it to your teams, and watch common sense grow in your organization.
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5.0 out of 5 stars User requirements that actually focus on the user!, May 5 2004
By 
"tbone200" (Sacramento, CA USA) - See all my reviews
Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
This is the first book I've worked with that seems to finally put the emphasis on requirements gathering where it should be--on the end user. So many books on requirements focus on organization and structure and they tend to ignore the realities of how to actually interact with users and express requirements in their terms. The book also examines approaches to gathering these stories in situations where you may not have direct access to the end user.
The overall approach and examples provided throughout the book equip the reader with a clear roadmap for leveraging and applying user stories in their organization. The book also includes insight into how user stories should be integrated into the overall development lifecycle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable book that supports any agile methodology, April 29 2004
Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
Every agile methodology advocates iterative, story-driven (although they may call them features or backlog items) development and so one might assume that an entire book on user stories and iterative planning would be redundant-not so. Mike has added both a breadth and depth to the body of information on this subject as his obvious practical experience shines through. Both little tidbits, like constraining estimates to specific pre-defined values, and responses to frequently asked questions (for example the best contrasting of use cases versus stories that I've seen) give Mike's book significant value for anyone practicing agile development of any flavor.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guides on Writing Good User Stories, March 24 2004
By 
Lim Liat (Singapore) - See all my reviews
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Ce commentaire est de: User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Paperback)
The author gave an overview of user stories in the Agile process. Cover the why, what, how, generation, splitting, etc of writing good user stories. It relates the users stories to the Agile processes. The explanations are very clear. I particularly like the chapter-end summaries, and especially the Developers and Customers responsibilies. Your non-technical customers could read it themselves and learn to write good user stories. It has a quick overview of XP, Scrum and comparison with use-cases. This is an excellent introductory how-to-do user-stories book for Agile Methodology.
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User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development
User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn (Paperback - March 1 2004)
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