tips for better user stories bbc 2013 agile open jam

TBAC 039 | Author Cast : How to Create High Value User Stories & Agile Open Jam at BBC 2013

by Yaaqub Mohamed a.k.a Yamo3

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This is a continuation of the episodes as part of building business capability conference. In this episode the focus on components of a structured conversation and how to use it build high value user stories. What are some key elements that you need to focus on beyond the ‘As a ____, I should be able to, so that ____’ conversation.

There are numerous tips on how you can leverage structured conversation to explore, evaluate and confirm high value user stories. If you are into agile analysis, this is a must-listen episode. You will also listen to some of the real world examples for a few challenges that you may face and how to overcome them as part of using this approach.

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The Big Agile Group Hug at BBC 

One of the exciting things about it is the proposed “Agile Open Jam” that will help you get answers to some of the most pressing questions on topics relevant to analysis and product management in agile. There is also an image and link to the poster at the end of this post with more details.

If you are attending BBC this year, don’t miss out on the Open Jam! This is being led by, Ellen Gottesdiener, Mary Gorman, Jake Calebrese, Kent McDonald and Jeffrey Davidson.

Here is the episode:



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Sneak Peek of the Episode

  • Overview of the structured conversation.
  • Components of the structured conversation – Explore, Evaluate and Confirm.
  • How does this play into defining and grooming your product backlog.
  • Visual language reference for structured conversation — put a link.
  • Tips for creating high quality user stories.
  • How to engage the right stakeholders.
  • Challenges associated with involving the stakeholders at the right level of details.
  • Discussion around the big view, the preview and now view.
  • How to gauge the conversation for the right people to be involved.
  • Where do the teams struggle the most w.r.t gauging the right level.
  • The struggles of the planning horizons and slicing of stories.
  • The importance of assessing value at the planning horizon.
  • Resolving conflicts about value from different business partners.
  • How to use expansive and reductive thinking to resolve conflicts.
  • The importance of having clear decision rules and decision process.
  • Examples from the field of how value conflicts could be resolved.
  • Brief introduction to the seven product dimensions.
  • How functional and non-functional requirements map to the seven product dimensions.
  • The value of business analysts as part of working through the seven dimensions.
  • Which of the seven dimensions do teams have the most difficulty in working with.
  • The importance of using a variety of models and techniques to engage your stakeholders.

Agile Open Jam at BBC 2013 – The BIG Agile Group Hug! :) 

  • Sessions on your topic and your time.
  • The importance of learning from others experiences.
  • How to get maximum value out of agile open jam – before, during and after the conference.

Insightful Quotes From This Episode

“The goal is not to build the model, but to communicate with it.” (even if we have to break the model).

“The value is in the eyes of the beholder; you are going have to know your beholders.”

“The roles maybe varied, but its important to have the representation of that partnership.”

“Structure conversation is the metaphor we use for the ongoing and collaborative work that we do to figure out what it is that we are going to build next in the product.”

“I find huge value in connecting with people that I have the experience that I don’t have.”

Items Mentioned in the Show

If you have any comments or questions for this episode, please post them below.

Enjoy the show and don’t forget to spread the word about this awesome episode using the social sharing links.


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Yaaqub Mohamed (Yamo), is the founder of The BA Coach community and host for the #1 ranked business analysis podcast in iTunes. He believes in adding relentless value to the BA community and advancing the practice.  He host this blog, and podcast to help business analysts throughout the world, do analysis better, by providing educational, relevant, and inspiring content. He's the author of 'The Five Pillars of a Great Business Analyst', best selling 'The Ultimate CBAP-CCBA Study Guide' and the creator of the revolutionary 'Ultimate BABOK Kit'. 

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3 Responses to “TBAC 039 | Author Cast : How to Create High Value User Stories & Agile Open Jam at BBC 2013”

  1. […] might also want to check out our recent podcast with Jeffrey Davidson and YAMO, that provides more background on the Open Jam.  (It is the second part of the podcast; the first […]

  2. […] you want more information, here are the write-ups by Kent, Jake, and Ellen. Also, Yamo recorded a special podcast with Ellen and Mary. I joined for the last few minutes (at the 30:05 mark) to discuss the Open […]

  3. […] week I heard a fantastic podcast over at about writing high value user stories through structured conversations. In it Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman, authors of Discover to […]

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