The fast track from User Stories to high value software

The best software is delivered by teams with a deep understanding of business needs, and a creative drive to find innovative, effective solutions to business problems. But this doesn’t happen by accident, and cannot be left to chance! Great teams take advantage of team dynamics and rigorous practices to make it so.

This one-day workshop will help you understand how these team dynamics work, and gives you a set of simple, easy to learn practices that they can use during sprint planning to build this shared understanding, and deliver software that delights the customer sooner!

All Agile teams work together to understand what needs to be done for each story. But somehow, despite all our best intentions, requirements still get misunderstood or mislaid, bugs slip into the code, and users are left less than impressed. We can do better!

In this workshop, you will learn practical and pragmatic techniques, drawn from the world of Behaviour Driven Development (BDD), that will have your team defining great acceptance criteria, and delivering great features, in record time.

“Give your team an early, shared understanding of the problem they are solving, and half the work is done before you start.”

Teams practicing these techniques well see defects go down by over 80% and deliver faster to happier users.

You will learn:

  • How team dynamics, rules and ceremonies affect individual and group creativity, and how to structure your team activities to maximise creativity, innovation and shared understanding
  • How to apply simple and pragmatic techniques to build a thorough, critical, and shared understanding of each story;
  • How to significantly reduce the risks of inconsistent, misunderstood or forgotten requirements;
  • How to get through sprint planning sessions faster;
  • How to lay the groundwork for smoother and quicker automated acceptance testing;
  • And how to deliver software that will delight the customer and bring value to the business!

Topics Covered

The workshop is deeply practical, more coaching than traditional training, with an emphasis on real-world applications. Where possible, examples and exercises will be drawn from actual client projects.

The key topics covered will include:

  • Design Thinking and breadth-first requirements discovery
  • Broad brush and thin brush – when to apply different requirements discovery practices
  • Running Effective Requirements Discovery workshops, including Example Mapping and Feature Mapping
  • Identifying key scenarios and business rules quickly and efficiently
  • Writing Acceptance Criteria that serve the whole team
  • A roadmap for full BDD adoption

Why your team needs this workshop

This workshop is about helping your team deliver valuable software sooner, by building a deep understanding of the stories they are implementing and the business goals they need to accomplish.

If you are not practicing Behaviour Driven Development (or have never heard of BDD!), this workshop is an excellent and cost-effective way to get started. And if you are already practicing BDD, this workshop will hone and accelerate your requirements discovery activities with techniques like Example Mapping and Feature Mapping.

You can learn more about some of the ideas underlying this workshop in this article.


We can run this workshop either in 1/2 day format (where we present the techniques and practice them on sample problems), or a 1 day format (which gives us the time to explore real-world requirements from your own projects). This workshop is run exclusively as an in-house event, which we can run either onsite or remotely. It is appropriate for teams using any technology stack and in virtually any business domain.

Want to know more?

The cost of the one-day workshop is €475. For your convenience, we are running two sessions of this workshop, one on Friday the 9th of June, and if you can’t make Friday, another session on Saturday the 10th of June.


Book Course

© 2019 John Ferguson Smart