Who should write user stories



  • They are upgrading an administrative system here that is used by all universities in Sweden (A separate :wtf: just to show you how old the current version is: to access the current system you have to remote login on a citrix server hosted by another university to open a win 3.11 interface).

    Around this central admin system a number of support systems (developed locally for and by each university) have grown up, and of course these will no longer work with the upgraded admin system. So they need to upgrade these systems too.

    They have actually decided to do something right, in that they are currently doing a massive requirements engineering effort to understand how people work with the support systems and the admin system, and to understand what is needed for the future. The execution, though leaves something to wish for. Or maybe it's just me, and that's what I really want to ask you (see below).

    :wtf::one: All admin personnel are expected to participate in workgroups related to the different categories of functions in the new system. Each workgroup is required to meet twice per week. If you are involved in more than one function category, you have to participate in all meetings for all the workgroups. No extra time is allocated for participating in any of the workgroups, so this is something that has to be done on their spare time.

    :wtf::two: They are supposed to express requirements for the support they are going to need when working with the new version of the admin system. No-one has seen the new system. No-one knows what the new system will be able to do or not, or how it won't do it.

    I've coached my wife (one of the concerned admins) that she should think in terms of the tasks she needs to do, and if the new system supports them out of the box then that's ok, she will be able to start doing the tasks so much sooner. To her, this seems like a giant waste of time, because she has already described in terms of flowcharts what she does and how she interacts with the old system, and now she needs to express requirements saying the same thing, 95% of which is certainly going to be supported by the new system anyway. And for the remaining 5% she is going to need support, but she don't know which support because it depends on what and how the new system does not support her tasks.

    :wtf::three::question: Here is the one :wtf: I am uncertain about. They want all the admins to write their requirements as user stories for everything they do. They have had a five minute introduction to "this is a user story, this is how you write it", and that's it. Now they are supposed to -- on their own -- write detailed user stories for everything they might need from the new (as yet unseen) system.

    In my imagination I've always assumed that user stories are written by the developers together with the end-users. Am I TRWTF here?



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg That's gotta be good old Citrix MetaFrame then? I say good old, but in reality it should be taken out the back and shot in the fucking face. I've had to deal with it before, having been a Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop/VMWare engineer in a past life - which I managed to wiggle my way out of into development (Money was better but the job was far, far worse despite honestly quite brilliant employers).

    In my imagination I've always assumed that user stories are written by the developers together with the end-users. Am I TRWTF here?

    Yes, if my understanding is correct here on what you mean by a "user story" (another WTF, wtf is a user story?) they need a few project managers in to do some proper systems analysis/requirements and to run the project, then a development team working with the PM and discussing this with the engineers and developers to figure out how to replace what they have with an appropriate system that meets all their needs.

    This is an agile clusterfuck. That, and unpaid meetings in your own time? Screw that.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Mikael_Svahnberg said in Who should write user stories:

    In my imagination I've always assumed that user stories are written by the developers together with the end-users. Am I TRWTF here?

    Ideally, end users should be able to properly express their requirements as a story, and the devs can push back for more information if necessary. More realistically, this is the sort of thing BAs are for: taking users' issues and translating it to something the developers can work with

    Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?


  • mod

    You should instill Programmer Anarchy ;)



  • @Mikael_Svahnberg said in Who should write user stories:

    No extra time is allocated for participating in any of the workgroups, so this is something that has to be done on their spare time.

    Guaranteed :popcorn:
    Especially the larger the group. Assuming no one works 3rd-shift, probably the only common free time is between 1a and 4a.


  • :belt_onion:

    @Yamikuronue said in Who should write user stories:

    You should instill Programmer Anarchy ;)

    Isn't it just Agile without the HPCs?


  • mod

    @JBert And firing all the managers, BAs, and QA people.



  • @Yamikuronue said in Who should write user stories:

    @JBert And firing all the managers, BAs...

    Sounds like a winner.


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