User Stories vs. Tests with Jim Ewel

In this episode Frank Days and Roland Smart bring Jim Ewel back on the podcast for a follow up to our earlier conversation about user stories. As a reminder, Jim is president of Peel the Layers, his Agile marketing consultancy in Seattle, WA. Jim’s a former CMO and CEO and one of the deeper thinkers out there when it comes to Agile Marketing. 

Part of what got left on the cutting room floor from our last conversation was the observation that not everything can be represented as a traditional user story—in this episode we dig into:

  • what are the limits of the traditional user story?
  • what distinguishes testing oriented user stories (or tasks)?
  • what types of tests are there (discovery vs optimization)?
  • and, how should we organize and related different kinds of user stories to each other

Along the way, Jim shared some fascinating thoughts about how traditional user stories are focused on the user’s conscious needs and desires but that tests tend to be more focused on the unconscious. Pretty heady stuff that I suspect we’ll want to revisit with other guests. Jim also made reference to:

Thanks for listening to the show and we want your feedback! Shoot us a note on Twitter @rsmartly and @tangyslice.

One Comment

  1. Great discussion. Writing a user story is not always necessary (but the conversation about the story is). I like the idea of busting out the experiments as tests in grooming (agile marketing TDD!) to prove out the story.

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