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About Mike Cohn
Mike Cohn is the founder of Mountain Goat Software, a process and project management consultancy and training firm. Mike specializes in helping companies adopt and improve their use of agile processes and techniques in order to build extremely high performance development organizations. He is the author of "Agile Estimating and Planning," "User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development," and "Succeeding with Agile: Software Development using Scrum."
With more than 20 years of experience, Mike has previously been a technology executive in companies of various sizes, from startup to Fortune 40. He has also written articles for Better Software, IEEE Computer, Software Test and Quality Engineering, Agile Times, Cutter IT Journal, and the C++ Users' Journal. Mike is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, is a founding member of the Agile Alliance, and serves on its board of directors. He is a Certified ScrumMaster Trainer and a member of the IEEE Computer Society and the ACM. He can be reached at www.mountaingoatsoftware.com.
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This is the eBook version of the printed book.
Agile requirements: discovering what your users really want. With this book, you will learn to:
Flexible, quick and practical requirements that work
Save time and develop better software that meets users' needs
Gathering user stories -- even when you can't talk to users
How user stories work, and how they differ from use cases, scenarios, and traditional requirements
Leveraging user stories as part of planning, scheduling, estimating, and testing
Ideal for Extreme Programming, Scrum, or any other agile methodology----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thoroughly reviewed and eagerly anticipated by the agile community, User Stories Applied offers a requirements process that saves time, eliminates rework, and leads directly to better software.
The best way to build software that meets users' needs is to begin with "user stories": simple, clear, brief descriptions of functionality that will be valuable to real users. In User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn provides you with a front-to-back blueprint for writing these user stories and weaving them into your development lifecycle.
You'll learn what makes a great user story, and what makes a bad one. You'll discover practical ways to gather user stories, even when you can't speak with your users. Then, once you've compiled your user stories, Cohn shows how to organize them, prioritize them, and use them for planning, management, and testing.
User role modeling: understanding what users have in common, and where they differ
Gathering stories: user interviewing, questionnaires, observation, and workshops
Working with managers, trainers, salespeople and other "proxies"
Writing user stories for acceptance testing
Using stories to prioritize, set schedules, and estimate release costs
Includes end-of-chapter practice questions and exercises
User Stories Applied will be invaluable to every software developer, tester, analyst, and manager working with any agile method: XP, Scrum... or even your own home-grown approach.
Boston, MA 02116
This is the eBook version of the printed book.
Praise for Agile Estimating and Planning
"Traditional, deterministic approaches to planning and estimating simply don't cut it on the slippery slopes of today's dynamic, change-driven projects. Mike Cohn's breakthrough book gives us not only the philosophy, but also the guidelines and a proven set of tools that we need to succeed in planning, estimating, and scheduling projects with a high uncertainty factor. At the same time, the author never loses sight of the need to deliver business value to the customer each step of the way."
—Doug DeCarlo, author of eXtreme Project Management: Using Leadership, Principles and Tools to Deliver Value in the Face of Volatility (Jossey-Bass, 2004)
"We know how to build predictive plans and manage them. But building plans that only estimate the future and then embrace change, challenge most of our training and skills. In Agile Estimating and Planning, Mike Cohn once again fills a hole in the Agile practices, this time by showing us a workable approach to Agile estimating and planning. Mike delves into the nooks and crannies of the subject and anticipates many of the questions and nuances of this topic. Students of Agile processes will recognize that this book is truly about agility, bridging many of the practices between Scrum and ExtremeProgramming."
—Ken Schwaber, Scrum evangelist, Agile Alliance cofounder, and signatory to the Agile Manifesto
"In Agile Estimating and Planning, Mike Cohn has, for the first time, brought together most everything that the Agile community has learned about the subject. The book is clear, well organized, and a pleasant and valuable read. It goes into all the necessary detail, and at the same time keeps the reader's burden low. We can dig in as deeply as we need to, without too much detail before we need it. The book really brings together everything we have learned about Agile estimation and planning over the past decade. It will serve its readers well."
—Ron Jeffries, author of Extreme Programming Installed (Addison-Wesley, 2001) and Extreme Programming Adventures in C# (Microsoft Press, 2004)
"Agile Estimating and Planning provides a view of planning that's balanced between theory and practice, and it is supported by enough concrete experiences to lend it credibility. I particularly like the quote 'planning is a quest for value.' It points to a new, more positive attitude toward planning that goes beyond the 'necessary evil' view that I sometimes hold."
—Kent Beck, author of Extreme Programming Explained, Second Edition (Addison-Wesley, 2005)
"Up-front planning is still the most critical part of software development. Agile software development requires Agile planning techniques. This book shows you how to employ Agile planning in a succinct, practical, and easy-to-follow manner."
—Adam Rogers, Ultimate Software
"Mike does a great follow-up to User Stories Applied by continuing to provide Agile teams with the practical approaches and techniques to increase agility. In this book, Mike provides time-proven and well-tested methods for being successful with the multiple levels of planning and estimating required by Agile. This book is the first to detail the disciplines of Agile estimating and planning, in ways that rival my 1980 civil engineering texts on CPM Planning and Estimating.
Proven, 100% Practical Guidance for Making Scrum and Agile Work in Any Organization
This is the definitive, realistic, actionable guide to starting fast with Scrum and agile–and then succeeding over the long haul. Leading agile consultant and practitioner Mike Cohn presents detailed recommendations, powerful tips, and real-world case studies drawn from his unparalleled experience helping hundreds of software organizations make Scrum and agile work.
Succeeding with Agile is for pragmatic software professionals who want real answers to the most difficult challenges they face in implementing Scrum. Cohn covers every facet of the transition: getting started, helping individuals transition to new roles, structuring teams, scaling up, working with a distributed team, and finally, implementing effective metrics and continuous improvement.
Throughout, Cohn presents “Things to Try Now” sections based on his most successful advice. Complementary “Objection” sections reproduce typical conversations with those resisting change and offer practical guidance for addressing their concerns. Coverage includes
- Practical ways to get started immediately–and “get good” fast
- Overcoming individual resistance to the changes Scrum requires
- Staffing Scrum projects and building effective teams
- Establishing “improvement communities” of people who are passionate about driving change
- Choosing which agile technical practices to use or experiment with
- Leading self-organizing teams
- Making the most of Scrum sprints, planning, and quality techniques
- Scaling Scrum to distributed, multiteam projects
- Using Scrum on projects with complex sequential processes or challenging compliance and governance requirements
- Understanding Scrum’s impact on HR, facilities, and project management
Whether you've completed a few sprints or multiple agile projects and whatever your role–manager, developer, coach, ScrumMaster, product owner, analyst, team lead, or project lead–this book will help you succeed with your very next project. Then, it will help you go much further: It will help you transform your entire development organization.