Here is a list of tips to improve your product backlog – reminder: still around conversation!

  • Impact mapping: link business with user stories (impactmapping.org)
    • It does answer the question: what is end goal of such user story: increasing sales? Remaining competitive? Catching up with the competition? etc
  • User story mapping: link
  • Low fidelity prototyping: using powerpoint, drawing, balsamic etc
    • Before trying to get UX details, allow you to test a new idea
    • Using powerpoint is very easy and everybody can reuse the work and collaborate:
  • Define UX: drawing on a piece of paper or on visio for instance can be very quick and can help refine some user stories: this is very effective when having a UX parallel development track
  • Having INVEST user stories: the best way to know whether this is testable is to write some example tests and using BDD format is great (Given/When/Then)
    • The great thing about examples, apart from confirming the user story, is that some examples become user stories. Examples help flash out critical details.
  • Make business rules explicit: rules are quite often “embedded” in the user stories. I have found make them explicit (When “event” Then “Action”) can be helpful especially when documenting your software product. You can add these rules in your UX design too.
    • Example: When password or username is incorrect, Then user should try to reset their password or try another time (up to 3x)
      • When user has failed 3 times, then user must reset his password

Quite a lot to get on with it – but don’t forget this is a collaborative effort whatever options you use!

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