Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Context is King

One thing I've learned from the time I've spent with customers gathering requirements, writing stories, and project planning, is the importance of framing everything in the context of business value. If you don't understand why a feature is desired before diving into a solution, you run the risk of delivering everything that was asked for and nothing of value.

I was recently told by a potential customer that their application was slow and asked what it would take to make it faster. After a cursory review of the code, it was apparent that there were several areas ripe for optimization. I pointed out the three largest bottlenecks I saw and gave a rough estimate of what would be involved in addressing them. The customers agreed that it looked like a good plan, but she seemed a little surprised, so I probed further.

"Why do you need the system to be faster?" I asked.

"It's a customer retention issue," she said. "Our users have stopped using the application because they say it's taking too long to get their work done."

I then asked what part of the application her users exercised most. After a little more back and forth, it became clear that the users spent the bulk of their time in the contact management section. This was definitely not the worst-performing part of the system, but since users spent most of their time there, their perception was that it was. That perception was more important than any profiling statistics I could possibly have gathered, and as it turned out, would potentially be easier to fix. A little bit of context allowed for large negotiation of scope.

I've often used the common "As a ..., I want ..., so that..." format for user stories, trying to emphasize the "so that" in order to draw out the real value. It's been fairly successful, but I'm always looking for new ways to focus the conversation on business value. One technique I'm eager to try is Michael Norton's suggestion of rearranging the story format to read "So that ..., as a..., I want..." in order to better emphasize its value. I like this a lot, and here's why:

A common definition for a user story is "A placeholder for a conversation." I'd much rather have that future conversation be about the implementation and detailed scope of a feature, and not a return to the drawing board because of a late realization that the feature provides no value. Putting things in the right context early can go a long way in that respect.


  1. Bangladesh Education Result Board & Government Official website. HSC Admission Result 2020 Recently Published. Government web. HSC Result Student can download HSC Admission Result PDF File. https://allresultsall.com

  2. 20 Public Universities are now form a cluster to take the admission test,. They will publish the guccho university admission test result on gstadmission ac bd as well as examresulthub.com

  3. Islami Bank Foundation Job Circular2021 the vacancy of offer has been published. qualified candidates online application submit through ibfbd.org/career web portal website.
    Bank Job Career in our website.
    Resource- jobnewsbd24.com/sitemap

  4. 20 General Science and Technology University is published the gst admission selection result 2021 on gstadmission.ac.bd result page. students just need roll number to check the result.

    check Also:
    1. gst university admit card download
    2. guccho university result
    3. gst selection result
    4. gst preliminary result

  5. DSHE is published the All Subject Class 10 Assignment Answer 2022 for all week on assignment.examresulthub.com.
    Want to check the all assignment work and answer, make sure to follow the below subjectwise links:

    DSHE is published the SSC Assignment Answer 2021 for Class 10 for three weeks. lets check the assignment work with answer.

  6. Ucuz, kaliteli ve organik sosyal medya hizmetleri satın almak için Ravje Medyayı tercih edebilir ve sosyal medya hesaplarını hızla büyütebilirsin. Ravje Medya ile sosyal medya hesaplarını organik ve gerçek kişiler ile geliştirebilir, kişisel ya da ticari hesapların için Ravje Medyayı tercih edebilirsin. Ravje Medya internet sitesine giriş yapmak için hemen tıkla: ravje.com

    İnstagram takipçi satın almak için Ravje Medya hizmetlerini tercih edebilir, güvenilir ve gerçek takipçilere Ravje Medya ile ulaşabilirsin. İnstagram takipçi satın almak artık Ravje Medya ile oldukça güvenilir. Hemen instagram takipçi satın almak için Ravje Medyanın ilgili sayfasını ziyaret et: instagram takipçi satın al

    Tiktok takipçi satın al istiyorsan tercihini Ravje Medya yap! Ravje Medya uzman kadrosu ve profesyonel ekibi ile sizlere Tiktok takipçi satın alma hizmetide sunmaktadır. Tiktok takipçi satın almak için hemen tıkla: tiktok takipçi satın al

    İnstagram beğeni satın almak için Ravje medya instagram beğeni satın al sayfasına giriş yap, hızlı ve kaliteli instagram beğeni satın al: instagram beğeni satın al

    Youtube izlenme satın al sayfası ile hemen youtube izlenme satın al! Ravje medya kalitesi ile hemen youtube izlenme satın almak için tıklayın: youtube izlenme satın al

    Twitter takipçi satın almak istiyorsan Ravje medya twitter takipçi satın al sayfasına tıkla, Ravje medya güvencesi ile organik twitter takipçi satın al: twitter takipçi satın al