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How to INVEST in User Stories

SMART goals are a great way to communicate and measure attainable goals within a set time-frame when it comes to creating User Stories, being SMART may not always be sufficient. INVESTing in User Stories helps to define stories, determine their relative value to a customer, business, or user, and allows you to identify testing criteria early in the SDLC.

  • Independent – Standalone as much as possible. Stories should not be dependent on each other.
  • Negotiable – Details identified in the conversation.
  • Valuable – The story has value to the customer/user.
  • Estimable – Story allows prioritization and planning.
  • Short – The Story should be implemented in one sprint.
  • Testable – We do not develop what we cannot test. Also, defines the definition of DONE!

Next time you write a User Story, think of how you can INVEST in that story.

Posted in Agile, Business Analyst, Checklist, KANBAN, SCRUM.

Agile vs. Waterfall Decision Flow Diagram

This is my first attempt at creating a decision diagram for determining if a project should use an Agile Methodology like Scrum or a Traditional Waterfall approach.



Posted in Agile, KANBAN, SCRUM, Tools, Waterfall.

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5 Steps for Job Shaddowing

Like many Business Analysis activities, there is a process to job shadowing:

  • Observe;
  • Document;
  • Reiterate activities (in your own words);
  • Confirm activities, and;
  • Update documentation based on feedback and additional observations.

Posted in 5 Things, Process.

Waterfal vs. Agile – When is constant communication important on a project?

Waterfall vs. Agile – When is constant communication important on a project?






Unlike Waterfall, an important aspect of Agile is constant communication between the product owner and the team. Constant communication can reduce wait time for sending and receiving information, improve the quality of your requirements backlog, and can reduce misunderstand between what is delivered and what is required.

Constant communication adds value to a project:

  • When you do not have all the business needs identified.
  • When you are on a tight schedule and require information ASAP.
  • If the product owner/client updates requirements frequently.
  • When you want to avoid delays in sending and receiving key information.

Scenarios using Waterfall:

  • I receive a recurring monthly request to update product prices on a sales database.
  • I create a website for a client; I use a standard template and add client specific information.

Scenarios using Agile:

  • I receive a request to update information on a sales database; updates are required to be rolled out over a series of weeks, and my team is not static, so I need to schedule resources based on availability per week.
  • I am creating a website for a client; they want custom features added; they have a limited budget and unable to add everything they want, and they need to determine what features to use (offer the most value).

Posted in Agile, Business Analyst, Methodologies, Waterfall.

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