RE: Xtreme Programming / Agile Development and Documentation

Subject: RE: Xtreme Programming / Agile Development and Documentation
From: Beth Agnew <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 12:57:34 -0800

Yes, I do disagree with them. Neither number nor rank of specialists who
purport to be the arbiters of the "requirements specification industry" sway
the argument that Use Cases can be a powerful specification tool when used
correctly. This supposed tragic flaw that use cases are weak in requirements
elicitation is not an aspect of use cases themselves but of the people
implementing them. Similarly, when user stories don't work, it's not because
the technique is wrong but because the creators of user stories don't get
the detail necessary to make them truly useful.

That's like saying documentation is bad inherently, not because people write
bad documentation.

I never said anything to indicate that I disagree with UML and other SE
tools or techniques. Multi-dimensional systems can indeed be described in
text, if there is the desire to do so and a writer skilled enough to
accomplish it. That requirements engineers don't do this doesn't surprise
me. If all you've got is a hammer, every problem had better be a nail.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tony Markos [mailto:ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2005 8:30 AM
To: Beth Agnew
Cc: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Xtreme Programming / Agile Development and Documentation

--- Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca> wrote:

Use Cases and User Stories can be made as detailed
and comprehensive as one wants.

Tony Markos responds:

Regarding Use Cases: You disagree with the members of
the Requirements Engineering listserv - a virtual
"who's who" in the requirements specification
industry. Just about everyone on that listserv is
well aware of the tragic flaw of Use Cases: Weakness
in requirements elicitation (i.e., comprehensiveness).

Regarding User Stories (i.e., documenting requirements
by using written sentences). Here Beth, you not only
disagree with the above people, but also with all
those who have developed and/or espouse requirements
modeling techniques including the UML, Structured
Systems Analysis, and a variety of others - all of
which are based on the need to move away from using
single-dimensional text to describe multi-dimensional
systems.

Tony Markos

--- Beth Agnew <beth -dot- agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca> wrote:

> Use Cases and User Stories can be made as detailed
> and comprehensive as
> one wants. It just depends on how much the company
> believes those
> aspects of the process are useful. If techwriters
> are involved at the
> earliest stage of creating user stories, they have
> the opportunity to
> ensure the specifications contain enough
> information. It's easy enough
> to make a good case for techwriter involvement in
> user stories, if the
> company understands our role as user advocates.
> Programmers will only do
> cursory user stories because they see their real
> work as coding. Having
> the writer do the "writing" makes everyone happier.
>

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References:
Re: Xtreme Programming / Agile Development and Documentation: From: Tony Markos

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