Conversational Story

One of the most prominent misconceptions that we can see within agile environment is assuming that the product owner is creating user stories and placing them in front of all the developers to work on. This would highlight the fact that the product owner is responsible for understanding what has to be done and the product owner communicates with the developers on how it has to be done.

However, this approach is quite different in the real world. The product owner is aware about the business and he has a good understanding about the need for software. On the other hand, the developers are versed with technology and they know how to implement things. Hence, it is possible for the developers to figure out the requirements put in front of them by the product owner.

To overcome all sorts of misconceptions associated with this process, it has become important for the product owners to use Conversational Stories. A Conversational Story will help the developers to get a better understanding on what has to be done to support a business.

There are some unique qualities that you can find within a Conversational Story. For example, it would spot the gaps and inconsistencies that exist in between the stories. On the other hand, it would use technical knowledge to offer new stories, which would fit perfectly well to the vision of the product owner. It is even possible to use Conversational Stories as the base and look out for alternative stories, which can be cheaper to develop based on the existing technological landscape. On the other hand, it is possible to split the stories further, so that it is possible to plan and implement easily. Due to all these reasons, the process of creating Conversational Stories can be considered as something that would help people to invest on the stories.

— Slimane Zouggari


Cucumber is a popular testing tool, which is supporting Behavior Driven Developments. Testers who are working in an agile environment will be able to use Cucumber and proceed with writing tests, which any person can easily understand. Even a person who doesn’t come from a technical background will be able to understand the test cases that are written with Cucumber.

The users of Cucumber would usually be product owners and business analysts. In an agile environment, they will have to work closely along with the testers. If those stakeholders can understand test cases, it would be possible for them to support the testers with their testing. On the other hand, it would be possible to streamline the acceptance testing as well. That’s because the customers will be in a position to understand test cases and work on acceptance testing. The product owners will be able to review and sign off test cases as well. This can be done even before the developers start writing their codes. The Cucumber framework is using Ruby as the programming language.

It is possible to use Cucumber for test automation as well. Even if testing complex scenarios, Cucumber will help to break down into simple components and proceed with testing. On the other hand, it is possible to take numerous additional features into consideration and proceed with testing. This would eventually contribute towards enhancing overall quality of the testing work completed by the testers.

The standard practice in an agile environment is where the developers would develop their features and proceed with writing the test code at a later stage. However, this process will ensure that the test cases are written upfront. This would help the agile team to find solutions to numerous complex situations, and increase the overall effectiveness of testing.

— Slimane Zouggari

Writing Agile Requirements

In an agile software development project, writing down requirement is one of the most important activities that should be done. When the requirements are clear and written down in proper order, developers will be able to go ahead and start working on them accordingly. This can contribute a lot towards the success of an agile software development project.

When writing down agile requirements, it is important to take a separate document. On the index page of the document, you need to list down the goals and properties of the document. You should be short and brief at the time of communicating all the goals of the document. Then you should write down the background or the requirement from business. If there are any assumptions, you should write down them as well.

Next, you come to the most important aspect of writing down agile requirements, which is the compilation of user stories. It is possible to list down all the users who are involved with the development and then write down the user stories. Your user stories should be broken down into granular level as much as possible. Then only you will be able to end up with effective user stories. The user stories should cover all different aspects of the development as well.

For example, assume that you are creating a login page for a website. Then one of your user stories should be “As a user of the website, I should be able to see a link to retrieve my password, so that I can recover the password when I cannot remember it.” This user story will represent one granular level requirement of the login page. Likewise, it is important for you to have the other requirements written down in clear format.

Next, you should use user interactions with the system. If there are any questions, you should list them down.

— Slimane Zouggari

Slicing & dicing

User stories play a major role behind successful deliveries that we can see in an agile development environment. However, the product owner or the business analyst cannot just work on the user stories. It is important to focus on Slicing & dicing to create the best user stories, which are in a position to deliver the best results to the agile development team at the end of the day.

If the user stories are poor, the development team will have to go through a difficult time to deliver them. This would eventually waste the time and effort that they are spending on the investment. To make sure that such consequences don’t happen, it is important to focus on Slicing & dicing. In other words, slicing will help to create the best user stories. Such user stories will lead the development team to appropriate developments, where the team members will be able to create a product that is immediately usable after the deployment.

When it comes to Slicing & dicing, you should also keep in mind that slicing is something bad. That’s because it would cut the massive story into horizontal slices. It creates numerous dependent layers. On the other hand, all the activities will depend on each and every layer. A specific layer would rely on the success of the layer under it. This would make developments more complex as well.

The best method is to go ahead with Slicing & dicing is to create vertical slices. Vertical slicing will ensure that the slices are cut with limited scope. On the other hand, it will be possible to deliver the user-stories within the shortest possible period of time as well. This can eventually help the development team to end up with getting measurable and visible results.

— Slimane Zouggari


Sketchnoting is a well-known term in the agile world. Sketchnotes are visual notes but rich which are created through a mix of drawings, handwriting, shapes, hand-drawn typography and some visual elements like boxes, arrows, and lines. Do you really like to know how to make your own sketchnotes? Well, if yes then keep reading.

First, keep it in mind you do not have to be an artist when it comes to sketchnote. See the examples of sketchnote of others on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc. Practice it to interpret and read sketchnote of others in order to take meaning from doodles.  Practice how to take visual notes. Skectchnotes can be taken from anywhere like articles, lectures, books, birthday card etc. So take note from anything you would like to make sketchnote on. Try to share your notes with other sketchnote makers in order to communicate through this technique Try to use a variety of tools. For example, use pencil for the first time then switch on to tablet or computers. Find out which technique works best for you. Take a paper and pencil and follow these steps to make a sketchnote.

  1. Decide a layout, like radials, paths, columns etc.
  2. Write a title on the top of the page
  3. As you listen, read or see something, write down the most important idea that you get.
  4. Add drawings to each idea
  5. Use colors to highlights
  6. Then use lines and connect ideas to the drawings

Sketchnote is really helpful in taking notes but visually. It is very helpful in order to remember what you have listened to or seen. Sketchnoting is helpful in organizing your ideas precisely. Sketchnotes make you creative. It increases your concentration, listening and observing ability. Sketchnotes are good to deliver some unspoken messages visually.



— Slimane Zouggari

CFD – Cumulative Flow Diagram

Are you looking for a great tool that will effectively track and forecast your projects? Do you want to check and assess the current status of the project, how much is done, what are the progress existed, and how much time you have to wait in backlog? The cumulative flow diagram might be the best option as it will offer you an agile development in the process. Let us learn more about it through this post.

What is CFD?

The cumulative flow diagram (CFD) is a metric chart type that used in the project management in order to manifest the project’s progress. Also, it is serving the same purpose to burn up or burn down charts, as well as flaunt more data.

The cumulative flow diagram is comprised of series of areas or lines that represent the amount of work in the progression of the stages. Just for an instance, in the software development, the typical stages of the development of feature will be – not started, design, coding/development, testing and QA, and complete.

When to Use the CFD?

The ability to showcase the bottlenecks in the process of the development is the main advantage of the metrics in the burn up charts. In planning a corrective action, this one could effectively be used. The corrective action planning such as reassigning the resources from the development to the testing in order to get a project delivery back on the schedule can effectively be worked out. Therefore, CFD is not just reliable but also and helpful for the teams and projects managers who are establishing a project because it will allow them to acquire a good project correction and feedback.

Why Use Burnup Charts (CFD) Over Burndown Charts?

CFD is a sophisticated version of burn up chart that is opposite of the burndown chart. The benefit of using burn up chart over burndown chart is that it can track the growth and offer agile development while burndown chart is just tracking the work that remains over time.

Concrete Examples on How to Create a CFD

The cumulative flow diagram is requiring a lot of data in order to create one that is why it is best to effectively use a software, which already has an access to the data in order to create them. The agile software has the ability to display a cumulative flow diagram for the projects while the Intelligent Reports for the software has the ability to create the MS Word documents that contain a cumulative flow diagram from the software data. Others for the systems software management can also effectively display the cumulative flow diagram from their own data.

The Intelligent Reports for the used software has the ability to automatically insert the burndown chart to the professional reports that are created from the aspects from the software’s data. As one of the easiest customizable solution for reporting for the software, the Intelligent Reports will give you a complete knowledge about the things that happen to the engineering team.

Just in a matter of minutes, you can effectively customize the time sheet reports, SLA reports, progress reports, and any other reports that are automatically delivered to the inbox of your email. So if you want to yield a better result, choose the right software.

— Slimane Zouggari