So I was reminded recently that when speaking to executive teams about Agile, you should have a couple of candidate stories written for their domain:

Story 11. Title: pro-rata refunds
Narrative: In order to meet regulations concerning termination of policies,
As an underwriter, I want to be able to cancel policies, effective
mid term, and offer a pro-rata refund of premium.

The second one builds on the first:

Story 12. Title: pro-rata refunds
Narrative: In order to correct erroneously canceled policies,
As an underwriter, I want to be able to reinstate policies effective
from their cancellation date provided that it not in the past, and
claw-back refunded premiums on reinstatement

Them there is the ‘epic’ for them too:

Epic 3. Title: Underwriting
Narrative: In order to collect premium,
As an underwriter, I want to have new business, renewals,
mid-term-adjustments, cancellations and reinstatements.

Ideally your sales/pursuit team will brainstorm on the right couple of stories before going into the client meeting.

Why? Well twice I have been in a team presenting to a CIO level person who’s given us an hour of their time, and while running through the team/process changes proposed, they interrupt to say “what is a story, again?” The two times I saw it the presenter was more than a slide further on meaning if the presentation was backed up a little, there would be more than one slide to do again. The problem in that time-crunched meeting was that it was hard to explain the concept of a story abstractly and have them get it quickly. At least, if they didn’t get it at the first attempt to explain it abstractly.

When/if “what is a story, again?” is stated by that important attendee, you can quickly pull up some reserve slides with story examples in their business domain, then resume your presentation again. Hopefully with them satisfied that they understood the concept enough.


November 7th, 2012