Discover User Stories

Application development is based on the developer’s understanding of your needs. By providing well vetted User Stories, the intricacies of your application are more easily understood. Often the User Stories developed by the owner are too general, lacking the technical detail needed to define the project, and often have hidden time and materials costs imbedded in them. As a result of a whiteboard session with CabForward℠, we will be able to provide you a comprehensive list of User Stories that will provide clarity and direction for your selected Strategic Technology Partner.

From Whiteboard to Code

We use the Discovery Process to help our clients clarify all of their questions, and then break down the desired features into User Stories. Once we’ve identified these stories, we enter them into our product management tool, where you can track our progress as development begins.

User stories are written in a short, 3-part format: As a [role] I can [function] so that [reason]. There are no technical or interface details at this level. The next step is for our client to prioritize the stories, and we estimate the difficulty of each story on a scale of 1, 2, 4, or 8 points. Stories that are bigger than eight points are too complex and need to be broken into smaller pieces. What does this look like in practice? Here are some examples:

1. As a customer, I can change my PIN.
2. As a student, I can find my grades online.
3. As a diner, I can read reviews of a restaurant.

User Story List

In the example above, each point represents four hours of work to develop the feature at $200 hr. When you arrive at this point of your planning, you can get an approximate idea of what the project might cost. Feature changes during development, however, will impact the investment required. So will making changes to functionality and appearance. Feature changes are usually the result of the client learning more about what the user wants the app to do and pivoting to address those features and benefits they value.

User Stories are very important in helping the client gain clarity about the features and functions needed in the product, and help the development team make a plan for efficient engineering of each feature. These user stories will then go into a project tracking tool where they can be scheduled and edited as needed.

CabForward℠ is a time and materials Strategy and Design shop. We charge hourly rates for each of our team resources assigned to any planning or development task. The investment required for a full-day whiteboard session and the resulting reports is $5,000, payable in advance.

Miss the previous posts in this series? Click here to go to the beginning.

For further information on our Discovery Sessions read Action Plan for the Whiteboard Session

 

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