I am always looking for ways to improve my planning process. User stories have been semi-helpful, but it was such a chore, like washing dishes minus the job-well-done feeling you get after seeing the pile of cleanliness. I stumbled upon Alan Klement’s post regarding a new method. The problem with user stories is that they focus on who has a stake in a task and how the task should be accomplished. And so he proposes a new tool: the job story.
Job stories focus on context, causality and motivations instead of assumptions, subjectiveness, personas and implementations. They help you think of the why: Why do users want to do this? Why is this feature important? Why should I do this?
The basic format is this:
- Refine A Situation By Adding Contextual Information
- Job Stories Come From Real People Not Personas
- Using Situational Segments*, Design Modular Job Stories Which Features (Solutions) Can Plug Into
- Add Forces To Motivations
- Job Stories Don’t Have To Be From A Specific Point Of View
*A situational segment is a collection of tangent jobs that someone wants to get done.
As a moderator, I want to create a new game by entering a name and an optional description, so that I can start inviting estimators.
When I’m ready to have estimators bid on my game, I want to create a game in a format estimators can understand, so that the estimators can find my game and know what they are about to bid on.
As an estimator, I want see the item we’re estimating, so that I know what I’m giving an estimate for.
When I find an item I want to set an estimate for, I want to be able to see it, so that I can confirm that the item I’m estimating is actually the correct one.
As a moderator, I want to select an item to be estimated or re-estimated, the team sees the item and can estimate it.
When an item does not have an estimate or has an estimate I’m not happy with, I want to be able to restart the estimation process and notify everyone, so that the team knows a particular item needs to be estimated upon.