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product discovery

User Stories and Mousetraps:  A Lifecycle of “Conversations”


User Stories and Mousetraps: A Lifecycle of “Conversations”

I teach quite a few teams about User Stories. Most struggle with the concept, at least initially. One of the key challenges for many is the notion that stories are iterative. That you visit and refine them often, instead of the “once and done” view that we have for traditional software requirements.

Part of that revisiting is reinforcing the collaborative nature of the stories. The nature that says they are “intentionally incomplete” in order to encourage conversations around the story. Remember the 3’C’s from Ron Jeffries: Card-Confirmation-Conversation, with conversation being the most important ‘C’?

I thought it might be helpful to go through a life-cycle example of how stories morph and change as they approach an execution-ready state. So here goes a somewhat contrived example—