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Our contribution in the sprint.

A story describes the contribution of a team in a sprint to a feature of the stage.

A tried and tested, very precise formulation is:

  • Who needs this (… We ask him if it is so good).
  • What is needed (… you can also reference a specification).
  • Why do we need it (… to convey meaning!).
  • We can add “Definition of Done” to this formulation: How will we be able to tell that it is done?

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Why do we call it a story?

The term story has become established in the Agile world. They describe results that are available at the end of a sprint. It has been shown that even outside the software world, in mechatronics and other areas, the precision in describing the results of a sprint benefits greatly if they are written in story format. Most digital tools for Agile Boards also use the term and provide a predefined work item type “Story“, which we can easily adopt in mechatronics as well.

Examples of stories in mechatronics:

  • Purchasing needs the drawings of the enclosure in order to be able to request the tools from the suppliers.
  • The layout designers need the circuit diagrams revised with the findings from the EMC tests in order to be able to make person B of the PCB ready for ordering.
  • The POT needs the results of the system tests in order to decide on the delivery of the first beta test units.

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What is different from pure software?

A story does not always deliver a function that can be perceived by customers. In mechatronics, it is even rather rare. It can have a wide variety of results:

  • The initiation of a supply chain
  • Designing a hardware component
  • Providing information
  • Ability to make a decision, e.g. architectural decisions
  • Documentation, e.g. for approvalsReduction of risk

…Whereby all of this actually also applies to software projects. There are also these types of stories.

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What makes a good story?

Writing good stories takes practice. Agile coaches will help the POT with this. Good stories negotiated with the team add up to a very clear mission for the team for the next sprint.

A sequence of stories that belong to a feature describe the way to get to the desired feature in the stage.

  • It conveys the meaning
  • Has clear completion criteria
  • Can be estimated and fits into a sprint
  • Stories in a sprint have similar sizes
  • Stories in a sprint are as independent as possible so that not all stories “fall” if one story is blocked in the sprint.

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