user story mapping

Every Agile Software Project Needs a User Story Map

Rusty Divine Agile, Microservices Leave a Comment

In this blog, I share an example of a real-world, agile enterprise modernization project that benefited from a User Story Map.

I’m the team lead for a project to convert a business solution from COBOL to a .NET microservices architecture. Other than some interesting challenges with designing a robust microservices solution, the business logic is very straightforward – input files are processed, databases queried, output files are produced and dropped in a folder, and our goal is to match the output produced by the COBOL solution perfectly.

Yet, we lost our way fairly early on in the project because we had a typical prioritized backlog. Unfortunately, even on a straightforward, well-defined project with an engaged team, we still managed to veer off course.

Our project manager started asking questions about where we were in the project and where we were going. I struggled to answer those questions because I couldn’t make sense of all that was in our backlog. It was around this time that I took a spreadsheet and created our first User Story Map….



Without Automated Testing You Are Building Legacy

Billy Korando Agile, Effective Automated Testing With Spring Series, Testing 1 Comment

I have worked with several different organizations in my career on initiatives to rewrite legacy applications. A common theme for each project was that the organization struggled to deliver both maintainable and “agile” applications.

As developers, we’re curious by nature. I needed to understand exactly why this happens. In my contemplation of this common challenge, I discovered Automated Testing and became fascinated by it. I have since worked to include it as a central step as I write and maintain applications.

In this article particularly, I lay out how automated testing, or rather the lack there of, lies at the heart of many of the struggles we face as developers…



Event Storming For Rapid Domain Learning

John Hoestje Agile, Consulting, Dev Methodologies 1 Comment

Tl:dr: Use Event Storming to rapidly gain group understanding of complex business domains while having a more enjoyable time.

While I was browsing tech news sites looking for articles, a headline caught my eye talking about domain-driven design (DDD). Its main idea was to implement Event Storming to drive the understanding of the business domain. The more I read about it, the more I saw the value in what Event Storming offered.

On a recent consulting project, we were piloting Agile in a Waterfall environment, so in reality, any requirement gathering process used would have been new. We chose to compare Event Storming to User Story Mapping, allotting just one hour to work with each process. The process that the pilot Agile team favored would then be used going forward.

In this blog, I will share the main takeaways and benefits that became apparent while implementing Event Storming sessions, especially as compared to User Story Mapping. I will first explain the project we worked on and underlying opinions that drove our trial, what key aspects of Event Storming stood out to us, and then tips I picked up along the way for effective Event Storming sessions….



Three Considerations For Your Agile Project

Sherry Stevens Agile, Consulting, Dev Methodologies Leave a Comment

As consultants, we have the privilege of helping our clients along their agile journeys. It is always interesting, as each client is on their unique path with various levels of success and challenge in their agile adoption. Most of them are also using traditional project delivery for some of their projects…. And, I have to admit, I love this! As …