Tool #41

User Stories have been the mother of development. From the dawn of early man, we have looked at ways to understand the needs of others and find the ways to support them. In modern times, User Stories have been used to support the development process. But their true purpose and meaning have been forgotten. We need to bring them up again.

I first came across the concept of User Stories working with Rational and using UML (Unified Modeling Language) to understand how the user interacts with the system. We were focused on understanding the user, but not in their environment. It was more about how the user was connected to the system, how they interacted with the system across the different points. This, however, was not the true essence of User Stories.

Today we use User Stories to understand the user in their environment. It is not just about the user’s interaction with the system, it is about what issue or need the user has. It is about how the user would be if the issue or need was addressed. It is not about the solution or the system. A User Story that focuses on the context, fosters creativity and develops the relationships further.

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