User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn

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Chapter 14. A Catalog of Story Smells

This chapter will present a catalog of “bad smells,” that is, indicators that something is amiss in a project’s application of user stories. Each smell will be described and one or more solutions provided.

Stories Are Too Small

Symptom: A frequent need to revise estimates.

Discussion: Small stories often cause problems with the estimating and scheduling of stories. This happens because the estimate assigned to a small story can change dramatically depending on the order in which the story is implemented. For example, consider these two small stories:

  • Search results may be saved to an XML file.
  • Search results may be saved to an HTML file.

There is clearly a great deal of overlapping work between these two ...

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