Here is an example of s story that recently made its way into a timebox.
As an Ecommerce Executive, I want to make improvements to the Request a Callback form which will make it easier to segment the callback request by purpose.
- Can the customer select their reason for requesting a callback?
- Can the customer specify whether they are a new or existing customer?
- Is the form dynamic?
- Does it reflect the design and copy attached?
- Has the old 'Visual Website Optimizer' code been replaced with the following 'Optimizely' code:
I believe that developers and testers have a responsibility to work out the detail of stories with whatever business representatives are available and I enjoy that part of my role. However, I am left feeling a bit like I did all the analysis.
The last point in the acceptance criteria is part of another story and was completely unrelated.
Here is what the owner of the story actually desired (actually I believe there should maybe be two stories here)
As an E-commerce Executive, I want to capture and send information to the Telephone Provider for MI purposes so that I have improved granularity in the MI reports.
- Can the customer select if they are an existing or new customer?
- Can the customer select the product they require a callback for?
- Can the customer select the reason that they require a callback for?
- Are the available reasons available dependent on the product selected and
whether the customer is existing or new?
- Are the selected reasons sent to the provider?
As a Sales Manager, I want to route telephone calls to a specific call handling team depending on how the customer has completed the Request a Callback form so that the customer is dealt with by a suitable call handler.
- If the customer is calling about Product X, is the new Product X route I have created sent to the provider?
- If the customer is an existing customer, is the new Existing Customer route I have created sent to the provider for all products excluding Product X?
- If the customer is a new customer, is the new Existing Customer route I have created sent to the provider for all products excluding Product X?
Even with the second stories, the developer an tester will still have to talk to a business representative to flesh out the exact detail. I believe this is a good thing as it allows a certain level of negotiation in order to get the best solution.
I believe the original story is difficult if not impossible to reasonanly estimate.
I also believe that it can lead to disagreements to as when the story is 'done', leading to under/over delivering.
We have raised story quality at every retrospective for a long time, but in the view of the developers\testers the story quality hasn't improved.
With regards to my example:
Are my colleagues and I falling into the trap of wanting too much defined up front or is the first story under analysed?
What level of detail\analysis should the team expect before being asked to estimate and develop the story?