In Scrum, requirements are commonly expressed as user stories. But is it OK to also make use of use cases in Scrum? And, if so, under what circumstances should you do so?
Some user stories defy easy assignment of their benefits to a particular person. But how can we satisfy the standard "As a ... I want ... so that I can ...." user story template if we can't express who wants this work done?
In a recent thread on the Scrum Development mailing list, Paul Battison asked whether his team should re-estimate completed stories after the sprint is done, so as to have the team's velocity reflect the actual effort that went into completing the stories.
During planning poker, a product owner should explain the user stories to the development team, but he or she should not try to unduly influence the development team's estimates.
A Computerworld article and webinar announcement, both featuring the use of iRise, to visually capture business application requirements calls attention to this growing product segment.
There is some confusion about when to use WPF and when to use Silverlight. Choosing the right technology for a project depends on precise requirements the application has and the differences between WPF and Silverlight’s capabilities.
TDD and BDD are now widely-used software development techniques. However, solely following TDD & BDD may still lead to missed business opportunities, or worse, a negative impact to the business. Two questions which TDD & BDD are unable to answer are: How do you measure the usage of your application? How do you get feedback from your customers? Is Experiment-Driven Development (EDD) the answer?
Real Options, a decision-making process based on Financial Option mathematics, was mentioned by Kent Beck in his 1999 "white book," Extreme Progamming Explained. More recently, Agilists have been exploring how Real Options intersects with Agile. Now Chris Matts and Olav Maassen specifically address the Lean Software community, proposing that application of Real Options improves Lean Development.
Forrester Research, in preparation for their Business Technology Forum next week, has released an analyst report for free download, entitled "Lean: The New Business Technology Imperative." Aimed at management, it discusses Lean as a whole-business imperative, and its impact on IT, cautioning: "Don’t get so caught up in eliminating waste that you forget to create value and increase flexibility."
40 years after the NATO Conference on Software Engineering, Tom DeMarco paused to reflect on the discipline's evolution, wondering whether the metrics orientation he championed has distracted from the real point of computing: "transformation, creating software that changes the world." Is his earlier advice valid, though? "No", he said, in Software Engineering: An Idea Whose Time Has Come and Gone?
In large organizations and projects, it's not unusual for an Agile team to find itself shackled to a non-Agile partner/vendor/supplier. Friction ensues, energy is wasted. While the solution might appear to be: "hire better teams", Scott Ambler goes to the root of the problem, providing a strategy for creating better RFPs: ones that attract Agile teams.
This session addresses the abstract notion of simplicity, looks at why it is critical in modern UI design and answers questions: Why does simplicity matter? Is there a meaningful definition of simplicity? Why do design processes and good intentions undermine simplicity? What processes and techniques can software developers use to achieve simplicity?
Simon Guest of Microsoft introduces SketchFlow by discussing why prototyping is an important developer skill and how a tool can enhance developer-customer interaction. The functionality and features of SketchFlow are presented in the context of an ongoing sample application (an on-line store).
A new three-part post by Neil Ford discusses both the rationale behind SOA implementations and the role large vendors play in distracting them.
Nonfunctional requirements describe qualities of a system (what it is) rather than its behaviors (what it does). Scott Ambler inspired much discussion when he recently asserted "Scrum's product backlog concept works well for simple functional requirements, but... it comes up short for nonfunctional requirements and architectural constraints." in an article on Dr. Dobb's Portal.