Get the Story Before you Write the 'Story' - Journalistic Skills for Agile Professionals

"Who are you?" "What do you want?" and "What are you going to do about it?" Those are the essential questions reporters use for practically any daily news story.

Do they sound familiar? "As a [Who are you?] I want [What do you want?] so that I can [What are you going to do about it?]."

Building software may seem light years away from journalism, yet there are techniques to be shared. How does a reporter blend natural curiosity, information from multiple sources and some basic writing skills to create a meaningful, well-crafted, unbiased story - and deliver it for daily release?

In this interactive session, Sue and Andrew will examine the parallels between interviewing people for news gathering and interviewing users and customers to discover what they need and want from your products. You'll discover how to:

  • Identify the best people to talk with - they may not be the usual suspects
  • Explore ways make users and subject matter experts excited about talking with you
  • Practise techniques for questioning that build trust and elicit information
  • Navigate via curiosity - this is not the time to be an expert
  • Create a story in which you make meaning from relevant voices and perspectives

You'll leave with tools reporters use to develop their products and be able to apply them to create and use effective user stories that lead to useful and usable products. 

 

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

This is a new presentation based on recent conversations with product owners who are uncomfortable/unconfident/uneasy with the process of talking to customers/users.

Remembering to draw the connections to agile, we'll start with a quick and lively discussion of how a reporter goes about news gathering, particularly conducting interviews.

Next, through interactive group discussion, we'll explore the paralels between interviewing people for news gathering and interviewing users and customers to discover what they need and want from your products. Using the format of the reporter's questions, we'll explore issues such as whom to interview, how to position the interview as a valuable investment of their time and how to build trust with interviewees.

We'll link this to general principles of storytelling to build context for these different points of view, desires and requirements.

Then we'll talk about specific techniques for using these principles in building better products. Specifically, we will examine how user stories, job stories and other observations can tell a story of our product goals in story maps. Then we have the story behind the story.

The handout is designed to become a Quick Reference Guide for future use in creating stories.

Learning Outcome

In this interactive session, participants will:

  • Identify the best people to talk with - they may not be the usual suspects
  • Explore ways make users and subject matter experts excited about talking with you
  • Practise techniques for questioning that build trust and elicit information
  • Discover how to navigate via curiosity - this is not the time to be an expert
  • Create a story in which they make meaning from relevant voices and perspectives.

Target Audience

Product owners, product managers, agile coaches, UX people, anyone who needs to know the needs/wants of people who'll use your product

schedule Submitted 2 years ago

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