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New Post 6/16/2011 3:02 AM
User is offline ValidationValidation
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Where's the detail? 

Dear Experts

My organization is currently adopting the Agile methodology for Project Management of projects (However, they only seem to adopt the part that mean less documentation/work)

As someone who works on behalf of the business, it is up to me to ensure that the requirements have been met.  However, many of the user stories are 9by design) fairly vague.  But in order to test something, details are required.  From what I can tell, these details are kept in the developer's head.  But is there any opart of the Agile methodology that I can state they need to follow in order to document the detials of such user stories (because at the moment I just waste time searching for the right person to ask)

An example may be: As a user I need to ensure that all the mandatory fields are completed before I move to the next step

Where are the mandatory fields defined?


Thanks in advance!

New Post 6/23/2011 6:32 AM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
4th Level Poster

Re: Where's the detail? 

 In the User Story world you ahve Acceptance Criteria as thetest case/s for the requirements.  Acceptanc criteria are, when using cards, often atatched to the back of the story card.  Look up Dan North's Behavior Driven Development for a good run down on user stories and acceptance criteria.

As a reprasentative of the client you should work with them on establishing acceptance criteria and actively participate in explaining what they are and testing to ee tat they are met.  Do this inside the sprint, not in a test phase in a subsequent iteration.

Re Agile being a low-doc solution, my experience is that many tams generate much more documentation - but incrementally.  And the end outcomes are usually much higher quality and more likely to be used.

You agile adoption is likely to fail is people are lazy. Discipline is required, and continous improvement is crucial.


New Post 6/23/2011 8:47 PM
User is offline pete
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Re: Where's the detail? 

 Hi there,

A couple of related concepts which I have recently heard articulated, and which resonated with me are:

  1. A promise to communicate: Even though the user stories may not have all of the detial that we have been accustomed to in a thick BRD, they do identify a requirement that will bring value, and it therefore on everyone in the agile team to promise to communicate about it at the appropriate time so that all the details are shaken out.
  2. "Social contract": the above promise relies on an understanding between everyone involved that the team are responsibile to each other and to the outcome, and that the detailed questions will be asked when necessary - rather than just the easiest assumptions made!

All the best with the agile adoption!



New Post 8/27/2011 8:52 AM
User is offline anonymous
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Re: Where's the detail? 
As a poster above me already suggested, what you are looking for are acceptance test criteria. However, I would like to point out that if you have to search the right person every time you want to find out wether your requirements are being implemented or not, you really need to be better integrated into your team (I don't know your organizational position, but if you have a role similar to the product owner I suggest using methodologies like Customer-On-Site). Agile methodology focuses on communication and not knowing who to ask seems like a bad smell to me (or trying to force your team to do something)!
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