Understanding "product user stories" in IT Project Management class was the bain of my existence yesterday. Dilash went through a review on scrum and it was easy peasy! I know scrum, we just did a mid-term on this stuff. But then he re-visited Agile's product vision and roadmap. Fam. I thought I understood. I lied to myself.
Kim Chan wrote in an article called Scrum Methodology vs. Agile Methodology, "Those who are new to Agile are often unaware of the fact that there are different types of Agile methodologies. One of the most popular Agile process is the Scrum methodology (2013)." Chan speaks to my heart.
Sidenote, for those who may not know, agile is:
"Not a methodology! The Agile movement seeks alternatives to traditional project management. Agile approaches help teams respond to unpredictability through incremental, iterative work cadences and empirical feedback. Agilists propose alternatives to waterfall, or traditional sequential development."
If you want to watch an introductory video about agile, check out Mark Shead on YouTube.
We had an in-class assignment where the task was to develop a product vision and roadmap for our "app". As a visual person, I went straight for the whiteboard to map out what the team shared using the breakdown below as a reference point. Looking back on it, using it was a mistake to be so dependant on the example. I should have tried to understand the concepts before jumping into the assignment.
Eventually, we made it down to the user story level and as you can see in the diagram above the user story breakdown is quite linear. I understood it as: you log in, see a bunch of things, and log out. My teammates had to explain that I was going in the wrong direction.
Fazle initially tried to explain that this was like a menu, so I asked for an example using Instagram. Angelica took the reigns and explained that user stories are like the buttons a person clicks on when they go into a menu.
The clouds parted.
An angelic chorus rang throughout the room.
It clicked and the lightbulb turned on.
I finally understood user stories! Elaine, our communications teacher, would be so proud.
Below is what we came up with for our product roadmap. It might be wrong, but we are learning.
User stories describe a product requirement from the end user's perspective. It outlines what they want and why. So using our example, the user story title will be "Change Password":
Title: Change Password
As a young entrepreneur
I want to change my Instagram account's password
So that I can protect my personal information
Agile also requires the development team to do a quality check by validating a user story. Thus, the validation would be:
When I select the "change password" button on Instagram, it will prompt me to input my old password and select a new one.
For folks who want to better understand user stories, check out this video below:
Agilemethodology.org. (2008, October 23). The Agile Movement. Retrieved June 26, 2017, from http://agilemethodology.org/
CA Technologies. (2016, June 07). Retrieved June 23, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKSUokG3Y0w
Chan, K. (2013). Scrum Methodology vs. Agile Methodology. Retrieved June 23, 2017, from http://www.onedesk.com/scrum-methodology-vs-agile-methodology/
Krishnapillai, D. (2017). Agile Methodology & Scrum [PDF].