Are you ready to do a user story?
Felipe Mejía
Felipe Mejía
Director de Operaciones de Castor Certificados en ITIL, agilidad y gamification. Scrum Master PSM I Certified. Orientado al cambio, entusiasta de la lectura y aprender. Consciente que se aprende más enseñando y facilitando a los demás. El pensamiento ágil nos facilita mejorar siempre.

When working with agile frames —being scrum the most popular— user stories are surely used. These define what the user wants briefly, and must meet certain characteristics to be considered “complete”.

But are these user stories something that is created once and remains immutable?

Just as needs, environment, and business change, user stories also change.

Warning, I’m not saying they should be changing. We accept the change, but it is important to have a solid foundation to move forward and having a clear and defined user story is important.

So, at what point can we begin to build or carry out what is defined in it?

That is why there is Definition of Ready (DoR). It seeks to have everything necessary to start developing what has been defined there.
We need to make sure that the team has everything necessary to deliver value while avoiding waste as much as possible, and that is why we need to make sure that a story can be carried out in its entirety at the moment it is about to begin.

Traditionally we use a Kanban board for visibility of progress in Scrum, which has three columns: TO DO (Pending), WIP (Work in Progress) and Done.

Although this is the classic Kanban board, it is not necessarily the one we always use, according to what is required, we use it with more columns that show us the real and detailed status of the stories and thus be able to know the workflow and allow is maintained to minimize waste by delivering value.

The DoR column

To have visibility of the stories that are “ready” to be developed, we can use a column that indicates so, we added to the board that we already use, one that indicates “DoR” before WIP, so it will be clear to everyone that the stories in there can begin their construction and nothing prevents them from being completed.

Likewise, all the stories that are in TO DO, must guarantee to go through DoR first and thus ensure the flow of value.

We think it is a good practice to agree on the DoR in the team, especially in the initial stages of product construction, taking into account the organization’s DoR, if any.
We also suggest reviewing the DoR and its application at all times when starting work on a story and retrospectives.

Do you use DoR in your agile initiatives? Do you want to tell us a bit about your experience with this concept? Let us now.

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