What’s most important about a user story? Collaboration! How many times have you heard about INVESTing in user stories, making them SMARTer, breaking them into SPIDRs, or biting the whole HAMBURGER? All great! Let me take you through an interactive game for the most important aspect: collaboration!

How would you go about teaching your team members about user stories? You have seen people talking about INVEST and/or 3Cs a lot. How many of those talks could be having longlasting effects? How can you make sure that the most important part of writing a user story, the conversation, to happen? How can you make that conversation in a truly collaborative environment for your teams to thrive? In this workshop you will learn how to write user stories by collaborating with others, we are going to divide into groups and work on user stories. No real experience is needed with writing user stories, understanding of them, or even have heard them before. Then we evolve the game into the next phase, user stories and teams. In this phase, we are going to work as a team on user stories, with again focusing on what’s most important. This is an interactive simulation that you can run with your teams. You can use this exercise to emphasize the value of collaboration in writing user stories. In the last phase, we touch on self-organization and leadership aspects of the team. Once you learnt this game, you can shape it into what you really want. There are many aspects of an Agile organization or a team is heavily related to how close and collaborative they are, and this is a perfect foundation to build upon.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

This session is a very interactive session.

Opening - 5 minutes

A quick intro on the instructions on the workshop, logistics and my introduction.

User Story Collaboration Style 1 - 10 minutes

For 5 minutes each, in pairs, the audience are going to deliver a user story by writing the requirements for 5 minutes and then by developing the user story for another 5 minutes. The user story is drawing a shape on a paper.

Debrief 1 - 5 minutes

I am going to reward the best developer that delivered the best outcome. I am going to focus on individualism v.s. team spirit.

User Story Collaboration Style 2 - 5 minutes

For the second round, the pairs are going to work together and deliver a new user story within 5 minutes. We're going to increase the efficiency and fun 100 percent.

Debrief 2 - 5 minutes

Focus on working together and delivering the story in half the time.

User Story Collaboration Style 3 - 10 minutes

This is where we have a user story (a drawing) that is complex. A team is going to form (4 to 5) people. And they are going to work on delivering the user story. They are going to have a team helper (someone like a scrum master) to lead and help them.

Final Debrief - 5 minutes

Debriefing on the techniques that emerged for them as teams to work on user stories. On the fact that there was no hierarchy established, or working agreement. However, they were able to divide the complex user story and deliver it.

Learning Outcome

In this workshop you would learn:

  • Collaboration style that leads to delivering a user story
  • Having a conversation around user story v.s. focusing on writing it
  • Emerging technique to split user stories
  • Emerging leadership in teams

Target Audience

Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Facilitators, Agile Enthusiasts

Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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