‘INVEST’ing in good User Stories

User stories are the requirement specifications in their simplest form. Methodologies like Scrum use User story format to express the functional requirements of the software to be developed as –

As a <user persona>, I want to <do the action> so that <need of function>

This creates a deeper understanding of the behavior from a user’s perspective along with the business need and reason for the function, thus making the development of software easier.

But writing effective user stories isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are a lot of questions to be answered, like which functionality is one user story and which is too big and needs splitting up; what is the true sense of the user story; how to best express the functionality in words; which user personas are to be considered etc.

Getting the user stories right is an essential step to success of the sprints in agile, and for the teams struggling with it we have the INVEST principal as a guideline to be followed. This principal gives the attributes of a user story to be considered when writing and defining them so that they can make a robust foundation to our product backlog. Let us look at the principle in depth –

I – Independent

Means that each user story must be Independent as a functionality and be deliverable

N – Negotiable

Means that the user story be negotiable in terms of implementation, which necessarily means that the implementation details or ‘how’ to do the functionality must not be specified in the user story. User story must be business need and customer experience story.

V – Valuable

Means that the user story must create value for the customer. We should be able to see the reason and way the function will be valuable to the customer and this can be gauged by direct communication with the stakeholders, and can also be quantified in terms of ‘business value’ that we can associate with each story.

E – Estimable

Means that the User story must be clear and concise enough so that we can estimate the amount of work required to achieve it with accuracy. Any unclear parts, missing information or discrepancies must be clarified before we can finalise a user story to be taken up for development.

S – Small

Means that each user story must be a small chunk or slice of work. The development of one user story must be doable within one sprint and hence anything bigger than that would need to be further split down.

T – Testable

Means that each user story must be testable as a feature and have a unique new function get added to the product.

Letter Meaning Description
I Independent The user story should be self-contained, in a way that there is no inherent dependency on another user story.
N Negotiable User stories, up until they are part of an iteration, can always be changed and rewritten.
V Valuable A user story must deliver value to the end user.
E Estimable You must always be able to estimate the size of a user story.
S Small User stories should not be so big as to become impossible to plan/task/prioritize with a certain level of certainty.
T Testable The user story or its related description must provide the necessary information to make test development possible.

Keeping these points in mind when designing and formalising our team’s user stories will ensure that the sprint runs smoothly without unforeseen scenarios, glitches in implementation due to unclear requirements and re-work due to frequent changes.

Have more questions? How to achieve this?

Stay tuned for the next article where we will look at the steps to achieve the best user stories.

Happy Testing!
Nishi

 

ATA community growing with yet another awesome meetup hosted on 1st July @Allscripts Bangalore

I organised and hosted the ATA 14th Meetup Bangalore @Allscripts Bangalore on 1st July 2017 Saturday, which saw a great turnout of keen testers and agile enthusiasts from various companies. We had a great line-up of speakers, including Dr. Shankar Ramamoorthy who is a noted speaker and has led Keynote talks at GTR Pune 2017 too.

Below was the planned agenda and talks for the day.IMG_20170701_110713

All talks were appreciated by the audience and were followed by interesting Q&A sessions and discussions. We also felicitated some CP-MAT awardees with certificates and goodies, and speakers were also presented with token of appreciation certificates.

It is great to see the community expanding and so many passionate testers coming together for such meetups and events for knowledge sharing , learning and networking.

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Hope to continue this effort with help and support from corporates like @Allscripts.

Great thanks!

Nishi

Conducted a full-day “Applied Agile Testing” workshop @Singapore

Hey there!

The day finally arrived when I had the opportunity to conduct a full-day workshop in the beautiful Hotel Village Changi @Singapore on 16th June 2017, organised by 1.21GWs.

The workshop was titled “Applied Agile Testing” and was designed specifically to bring in practical agile knowledge to software testers looking for answers to their software testing dilemmas in agile teams. The agenda also included practical work, team exercises and a hands-on agile testing project with testing a live web application in sprints format. We focused on lean documentation and exploratory testing and each participant had a chance to bring out their keen testing skills and find the best bugs!

The audience was a good mix of people from different domains and varying skills and levels of experience. We had great questions and discussions during the day, enjoyed the networking over coffee and lunch, and an amazing response from the delegates. The team exercises and live project were a big hit! I received amazing feedback about the session, the topics and conduct and specially for the project.

Here are a few glimpses from the day –

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We also gave out hand-outs and certificates to all attendees for participation in the event issues by 1.21GWs-

Our delegate Mr. Rajesh Thomas from Semiconductor Technologies & Instruments was kind enough to share his feedback – here in his own words—

It was a wonderful workshop we had and it indeed helped me to learn on applying testing and its technique in Agile. The topics was very well arranged which helped us to sail gradually to the core subject. The techniques taught and applying sprint on real time project did help us to understand better”

More feedback by delegates –>

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It was a great experience and Singapore being the wonderful and welcoming place that it is offered us lots of love and appreciation! Hope to get there back again soon!! 🙂 🙂

Cheers

Nishi

I am speaking at the 1.21GWs Agile Testing Conference @Singapore

Hello !

Check it out — I am going to speak at the

“Agile Testing, Test Automation and Non Functional Testing Summit”

being organised by 1.21GWs @Singapore on 14-16th June 2017

Check out the details of the event at http://www.1point21gws.com/NFT_Summit/2017/Agile_Testing_Test_Automation_Non_Functional_Testing_Summit_Singapore/ 

I will present a talk on Innovation Games for Agile Teams on 15th June day of the conference.Nishi Grover Garg day2

And I will conduct a full day workshop on “Applied Agile Testing” on 16th June

Nishi Grover Garg day3

Be there! 🙂

Nishi

A huge success at the 13th ATA Bangalore Meetup @CoviamTech

I organised and hosted the 13th ATA Meetup at Bangalore which was held on Saturday- 13 May 2017 at Coviam Technology office – HSR Layout. The event was a big success owing to the great support of the volunteering team @CoviamTech as well as the great talks by all the speakers. The day saw a huge turnout with a full house at the venue, and great participation and questions by the attendees.

CEO of Coviam Mr. Deepak Nachnani gave an introductory talk , followed by the below talks-

Shrinathacharya L M. (Shrinath)   from Allscripts Thick and Thin Lines in Choosing Mobile Test Cloud Environment
Mr. Sundaresan Krishnaswami from Coviam
and
Ms.Felicia Kartika from Blibli.com, Indonesia
Successful strategies to testing Microservices architecture
Mr Santhosh GS from Allscripts Machine learning telepathy for Shift Right approach of testing
Deepthi from Coviam Usability Testing

Delegates appreciated all the sessions, and had the opportunity to network over tea and lunch sponsored by Coviam at the end of the sessions.

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CP-MAT certificates were also distributed in a felicitation ceremony for the candidates who cleared the course last month.

Over all the day was a great success, and ATA looks forward to such an awesome response every month at our meetups!

Thanks

Nishi

‘Mastering Agile Testing’ – Training the CP-MAT certification batch

I trained the latest CP-MAT training and certification batch held at Bangalore and it was a huge success. With wonderful participation by team from L&T, intriguing questions and enthusiastic response, it was a pleasure training and interacting with them!

CP-MAT is a wonderfully interactive course designed specifically for agile test practitioners.

CP-MAT stands for “Certified Professional – Master Agile Testing” certification prepared and honored by “Agile Testing Alliance” & “Universiti Teknologi Malaysia”.

The course is applicable for all roles and not just “testers”. Knowledge, experience & certification is consciously designed to focus on “agile testing” and not on “agile testers”.

CP-MAT helps the participants get into the testing mindset in an agile project. It helps you utilise your testing experience in learning hands on Agile testing. It instils the “Quality is everyone’s responsibility” concept in the minds of the participants.

It is useful for even to an experienced tester to apply the “regular” testing techniques to an Agile project. The concepts of Agile process with context to testing are covered during the course along with the associated best practices for Testing in an Agile Project. The course takes a hands-on approach while covering Release Planning, User Stories Review, Estimation, Sprint Planning, Agile Test Strategy, Testing debt, Testing DoD, Test Reporting and Metrics. This also introduces the participants to the concepts of TDD, ATDD, BDD and Continuous Integration (which are covered in detailed in the next level course CP-AAT).

Here is sneak peek into the training room–

Cheers

Nishi