Stories and Deliverables

I l @ ve RuBoard

One of the better attributes of XP is expressing work to be done in "stories." A story represents an idea for a feature. In pure XP stories come from the customer, but in Web projects we have to break this rule. Customers may have an easy time of writing stories for functions that they can relate to in their work experience, like "Check that the selected product is in stock," but they often have problems with others.

When we first started using XP for our Web projects, we tried stories like "Create a Products page" or "Create an About Us section." These stories never worked because they were too large. Even the smallest page in a Web project assumes that you have an approved design and copy and images for it. Our stories changed quickly to "Collect content for an About Us page," "Select images for Products pages," and a myriad of others for the graphic design process. [1]

[1] Chapter 8 discusses the graphic design process in detail.

Here we run smack into a contradiction between traditional XP and XP for Web projects. Stories should be connected to a direct business value, but some of our stories are tasks and it is hard to make a clear connection to the business value they provide. Nonetheless, XP has to be bent for the parts of Web projects that are more for presentation than for functionality. If not, your team will be blocked. This is a call that needs to be made by the project manager. In Web projects stories must demonstrate business or project value.

One of the problems related to Web projects is that the customer is rarely aware of the need for a distinct order of operations; this can affect the presentation of deliverables. In Part III we explore design patterns in Web projects that allow us to deconstruct Web pages so that we can have tangible deliverables for parts of those pages. Parts can be made into individual stories that are demonstratable, but Web projects still need an experienced project manager and development team to set the order of operations for when stories should be completed.

This isn't to say that the customer is out of the loop. We start each iteration with an iteration strategy session led by the strategist or project manager.

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Extreme Programming for Web Projects
Extreme Programming for Web Projects
ISBN: 0201794276
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 95

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