The role of the user story agile practice in innovation
O hEocha, Colm
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Abrahamsson, P., Oza, N., O hEocha, C., & Conboy, K. The role of the user story agile practice in innovation. In W. Aalst, J. Mylopoulos, N. M. Sadeh, M. J. Shaw & C. Szyperski (Eds.), Lean Enterprise Software and Systems (Vol. 65, pp. 20-30): Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
The concept of an innovation space where different knowledge and perspectives can interact leading to innovation is central to lean thinking. The SECI framework of organizational knowledge creation identifies five enabling conditions which impinge on this space, namely intent, autonomy, fluctuation, redundancy and variety. User Stories, introduced in XP and now commonly used in Scrum, are a key practice in requirements capture. In common with lean thinking, they are user value centric, encourage rich dialogue between project stakeholders and avoiding premature specification of solutions. This conceptual paper examines user stories through the dual lenses of an innovation space and the five SECI enablers. The authors conclude that expressing user needs as user stories can support the development of innovative solutions, but that care must be taken in the design of the user stories and their application. This paper concludes with a set of recommendations to support innovation through user stories.