Ron Jeffries is well known. He’s so well known that he doesn’t even have to tell you who he is. You should just know. A quick trip to his Twitter page tells you that. #ronjeffries #pwnd
Regardless, we always perk up whenever we read something he has to say. Usually it’s pretty interesting stuff. His latest blog entry tells us that we do not need technical user stories. Period.
Why is that?
Let’s break it down for the rest of us peons, shall we?
“One of the pillars of Scrum is for the Product Owner (PO) to prioritize work for the team, so that the best possible product can be delivered within the desired time and budget. Clearly, the PO is (should be) capable of pinpointing the most value. Therefore, it isn’t too smart for a development team to focus on anything other than what the PO wants.”
Since technical user stories have the promise of providing faster velocity in the future, and are different from the PO’s user stories, you end up having a priority and time dilemma: PO user stories VS. Technical user stories.
Ron Jeffries 3 Reasons to NOT Have Technical User Stories
- PO stories should inherently be built with a creation of tests and a creation of clean code from the beginning.
- Since systems are built incrementally, the design should be built incrementally as well. In order for each feature to be really “done” design must be done with development.
- The PO has no real ability to prioritize technical stories, and shouldn’t have to. They prioritize the standard stories.
Bottom line? The PO should only prioritize the regular user stories. A development team should bake in the time it takes to correctly code and design the story. It may take longer per story (slower velocity), but that’s ok.
“Our Product Owner retains her ability to prioritize the whole of our work, and our code improves. No confusion, no political discussion, no need to make promises about the future that we may not be able to keep.
We don’t need technical stories or tricky negotiations. We just do the job we were always supposed to do, namely make each story DONE, fully tested, with a good design in place.” – Ron Jeffries
Thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments.