But we’ve always done it this way

Do we need to do this? Is this the best approach? Nothing stops these questions better than the sentence:

But we’ve always done it this way.

Luckily I cannot say this has happened to me recently. Instead, I always keep it in the back of my head from all the other times I’ve listened to this sentence. Whenever I hear this I remember the 5 monkey experiment fable.

Yesterday during a refinement with one of my new teams I was checking how the tickets were written. Everything was written as a user story.

Yes, user stories are useful, but they are not the only thing in the world. It is just a waste of time if an engineer needs to write a simple task such as:

As an engineer
I want to have this
So that the system won't break

As a system
I want to do this
So that I can achieve that

I remember an awesome presentation my colleague Maarten Dalmijn did a couple of years ago when we were both in the same company. Here is his article if you want to know more: Unheralded Alternatives to User Stories.

In a very quick summary, there are other ways. Just because you have always written tickets as user stories, it doesn’t mean it is the best way. Nothing in this world is “one solution fits all”.



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