Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Can you shuffle your stories?

No? Neither can I and I am not happy about it.

So I got my new iPod Touch. One thing I find slightly annoying is the fact that when you select an album it gives you the list of songs. But the first option is "Shuffle". Being used to LPs and Cassettes and CDs I don't really like to shuffle songs. I have listened to my favorite albums in a given order of songs for so long, that I want to listen to them in that order.

So I started wondering about the requirement for a shuffle option itself. And I conclude that it does nothing but brings a tiny bit of randomness in our lives. A little bit of surprise. That's all.

What is also important is that the songs that we listen to usually are shufflable :) Because I do listen to Indian classical music and you can't shuffle that. The khayal has to come before the drut rendition.

So what's this got to do with user stories? Well, I am currently plagued by dependant stories and I suddenly realized that they are like India Classical music. They can't be shuffled. Separate post about why I have too many dependant stories on the current project.

Dependant stories are not always avoidable. But it is ideal to have a lot of stories that can be shuffled.

4 comments:

  1. Hmm... most users do thing in a certain order, following a process. You have to create an Order before you can price it. Dependencies re pretty natural for the most part.

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  2. Agreed, but software need not be developed in the same order as the users use it.

    The flow can be tweaked to gain efficiency... to increase the speed at which software is delivered.

    That's the short answer. I am working on another post to elaborate on that.

    Sorry about the late reply.

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  3. This is a great analogy. Thanks for the insight!

    I have a few stories that are inter-dependent in small ways. I've tried to solve this by duplicating the inter-dependent requirements. This way, we can "shuffle" them at the cost of going back and removing a redundant requirement when the second story is ready for implementation. Probably not perfect, but it's helping keep me sane!

    Laura
    http://bridging-the-gap.com

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  4. I agree with you, if the stories are directly dependent on the other story, sometime we suffer from designing a solution where the user is expected to follow a certain workflow (which may be right for some business) but the moment user shuffles the workflow the system behaves erratic, I would like to build stories which could be shuffled to understand and investigate every possible workflow - just a thought.

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