The Art of Writing Software

Return on INVESTment

Tags [ INVEST, pre-planning, Scrum, user stories ]

At our last pre-planning meeting, we made a point of putting all the user stories into INVEST format, and I was pleased that there was a general consensus that this worked well.

I think this took quite a while, partially because we were all getting used to evaluating the statement of the stories critically, but I think this was worth it. We had product, IA, and engineering folks suggesting wordings for stories, and at least some of our stories came in in a canonical format:

“As <who>, I want <feature>, so that <value>.”

Having the full INVEST filter did help us with a few things:

With the up-front work on the stories we did, our team has found it easier to negotiate a specific solution and in some cases to actually plan without the product owner, which is actually convenient (he’s doing multiple duty so he’s having to bounce back and forth between multiple sprint planning sessions!).