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Value in the backlog managed by the User Story

When you consider what adds business value to your agile process, do you ever think about anyone other than yourself?

Wait, really think about that. It seems tongue-in-cheek, but do you really care about your end-user?

When developing and deploying new features and capabilities of your products and applications, the elements that often go unnoticed are user stories and product backlog items. Yet is within these tiny, unassuming oysters that pearls of business value hide - waiting for humble product owners to seize the opportunity to stand out against the competition.

Wait - How Do User Stories and PBIs Make A Difference?

It may sound strange, but within the requests in common user stories and product backlog items are the kernels of great conversations with customers that are waiting to pop! Want to really add business value to your system? Consider the following:

  • How can you tell if the work being done by the development team actually results in value?

  • Is what has been developed directly valuable to those receiving the end product?

  • What does ‘maximizing value’ mean in terms of behavior and decisions?

  • Are there different kinds of value? Are they equal? How do you compare them?

  • Whose perspective do we take when deciding what has ‘value’?

The way you answer these questions will give you insight into whether or not your team is taking the user stories generated by end-users into account in the process. This all comes down to common courtesy - treat others how you would like to be treated! When your end-user feels like their views and opinions are part of the development process, they will quickly add elements that bring value.

Technology and Adoption Meet When Value Is Made Clear

Remember, the conversation that user stories and PBIs generates between the end user and development team proves Agile Principle #4 - Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.

You are not just creating and developing an application - you are creating something that will help make someone else’s life easier. When you begin to develop with that in mind, you will be amazed at the results that can come!


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