User Stories are bad… M’Kay?
Nathan Kinch
1006

The amount of work that went into this post is impressive. So kudos for it— I hope it made you some money. Unfortunately this post doesn’t have much to do with job stories tho. You could’ve done exactly the same thing with well written user stories as opposed to job stories. You know…to-mah-to, to-mae-to…same thing. It’s just how well you’re able to articulate one particular scenario. If you can articulate it, you can do it using bullet points or dashes, it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever. Here’s why I say that.

There are 2 important points made here about why user stories are bad, let’s look at each of them.

  1. User stories are bad because they use personas. Is that actually true tho? User stories use roles or user types rather than personas. I haven’t seen any user story written like this: As Joe, construction worker with 3 children and 25 years of experience, I want to X so I can do Y. Most user stories I’ve seen are written like this: As a mobile customer, I want to X so I can do Y. Funnily enough, Alan Klement introduced roles in Job Stories as well to distinguish between multiple users of a product. That makes Job Stories, even more similar to User Stories. Here’s his proposal: “Roles / Characters are most helpful when the product has multiple roles, e.g. an IT product ( Admin, Manager, Contributor….) or in a marketplace product product ( Buyer, Seller ). The reason is just to clarify who we’re talking about.” Aren’t these massively similar to the “users” used in User stories?? They are. And that’s funny :) So User Stories don’t use personas, you do, and that’s up to you and yours :)
  2. User stories don’t address causality. Oh but they do, don’t they? :) Teams who use User Stories to actually build products add scenarios and use cases to the stories to give context and address customer and product behaviour. Here’s one example from Wikipedia : In order to keep track of stock as a store owner I want to add items back to stock when they’re returned. Scenario 1: Refunded items should be returned to stock. Given that a customer previously bought a black sweater from me and I have three black sweaters in stock, when he returns the black sweater for a refund then I should have four black sweaters in stock.” No development team in their right mind would accept your stories without this type of context, either given formally like above, or verbally or via visuals etc. So, do you really need Job Stories to address causality. No, not really.

As you can see in the examples above, both points about why User Stories are bad are poorly argued and I deem them as non-existent :) There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel unless there’s a benefit to it. In this case, there isn’t.

Oh, another kudos for the well chosen, aggressive title, it got me to read the article :)

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