|By Tad Anderson||
|October 22, 2013 02:00 PM EDT||
|This book is exactly what the sub-title "A Practical Guide to Agile Requirements Discovery" says it is. The book is a very detailed breakdown of the steps that should be taken by Scrum teams that want to succeed.
I have listed the chapters below to give you an overview of the topics the author covers in this book.
Chapter 1. Solving the Right Problem
Chapter 2. Relying on a Stable Foundation
Chapter 3. Discovering Through Short Feedback Loops and Stakeholders’ Decrements
Chapter 4. Expressing Desirements with User Stories
Chapter 5. Refining User Stories by Grooming the Product Backlog
Chapter 6. Confirming User Stories with Scenarios
Chapter 7. Automating Confirmation with Acceptance Tests
Chapter 8. Addressing Nonfunctional Requirements
Chapter 9. Conclusion
In the first chapter the author covers how the scrum teams can distinguish requirements from the solution. In other words the what from the hows.
In the second chapter the author shows how to develop guardrails which are basically the artifacts and activities that will keep the project within its defined scope. The examples that the author uses are a healthy team, involvement of all stakeholders, a shared vision, a meaningful common goal, a set of high-level features, and "can-exist" assumption.
In chapter 3 the author really drives home applying the trial and error method for discovering desirements through short feedback loops.
In chapter 4, Expressing Desirements with User Stories, the author does a great job of showing how to create user stories. He does a great job of breaking down the structure of the user story and introducing the questions that you ask when creating them- who, what, and why, questions. The author also touches on the importance of establishing Ubiquitous Language. Ubiquitous Language is a shared team language that defines a certain domain. Chapter 6 also touches on Ubiquitous Language. He ends the chapter by introducing how to use a product backlog to record desirements.
The next chapter, Refining User Stories by Grooming the Product Backlog, is all about roles and activities that need to be in place in order to managing the product backlog correctly. Topics include Managing the Product Backlog, Collaborating to Groom the Product Backlog, Ranking User Stories with a Dot Voting Method, Illustrating User Stories with Storyboards, Sizing User Stories Using Comparison, Splitting User Stories Along Business Values, Tracking User Stories with a Collaboration Board, and Delivering a Coherent Set of User Stories.
Chapter 6 is all about confirming your User Stories by scripting scenarios that validate them. The author also introduces two tools for automating validation. He introduces the Framework for Integrated Test (FIT) and the Given-When-Then syntax the Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) community uses. He also touches on Ubiquitous Language again and its importance.
Chapter 7 is all about automating confirmation, which is done by turning scenarios into acceptance tests. This chapter explains how to make the scenarios “executable” by a computer. The author introduces existing BDD automation frameworks which include Cucumber for Ruby, JBehave for Java, and SpecFlow for Microsoft .NET. I downloaded SpecFlow which is a solid framework backed up by very thorough documentation.
The last chapter before the concluding chapter covers Nonfunctional Requirements (Quality Attributes). Quality attributes are all about tradeoffs and constraints. The author does a great job of explaining quality attributes, showing how they are broken down into internal and external categories, and then applied through constraints (which he calls restrictions).
The two things I like most about this book was the flow of the chapters and the author's recognition of the importance of architecture.
The chapters build on each other so I definitely recommend a cover to cover read of the book. The author has a great writing style, so that is easy to do.
When the author spells out what roles make up a team he includes architects. He defines architects as members of the development team who are responsible for designing the structural foundation upon which the solution is built. Their role is to ensure the development team builds the software right and delivers quality work. I have seen a lot of confusion in Scrum teams when it comes to architecture, because a lot of the Scrum material out there today discounts it.
All in all I found this book a very enjoyable read. If you are involved with agile development teams, you should definitely read this book. The elicitation of requirements is really lacking in most of the agile teams I encounter. This book can help to remedy that.
Executable Specifications with Scrum: A Practical Guide to Agile Requirements Discovery
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
Sep. 27, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,122
Let's recap what we learned from the previous chapters in the series: episode 1 and episode 2. We learned that a good rollback mechanism cannot be designed without having an intimate knowledge of the application architecture, the nature of your components and their dependencies. Now that we know what we have to restore and in which order, the question is how?
Sep. 27, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,260
Whether they’re located in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, cloud technologies are constantly evolving. While the innovation is exciting, the end mission of delivering business value and rapidly producing incremental product features is paramount. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Kiran Chitturi, CTO Architect at Sungard AS, will discuss DevOps culture, its evolution of frameworks and technologies, and how it is achieving maturity. He will also cover various st...
Sep. 27, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,802
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Sep. 27, 2016 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,655
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Sep. 27, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,761
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Sep. 27, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,595
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
Sep. 27, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,657
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Sep. 27, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,403
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Sep. 27, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,868
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 27, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,762
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Sep. 27, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,692
Large enterprises today are juggling an enormous variety of network equipment. Business users are asking for specific network throughput guarantees when it comes to their critical applications, legal departments require compliance with mandated regulatory frameworks, and operations are asked to do more with shrinking budgets. All these requirements do not easily align with existing network architectures; hence, network operators are continuously faced with a slew of granular parameter change req...
Sep. 27, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 716
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
Sep. 27, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,781
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
Sep. 27, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,449
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
Sep. 27, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,823
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Sep. 27, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,665
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Sep. 27, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,222
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Sep. 27, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,565
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Sep. 27, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,080
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Sep. 27, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 4,531