We have created lots of tools which are intended to structure fuzzy or unclear business needs. We have created use cases, user stories, acceptance test and so forth.
Although the tools above were designed to improve collaboration with customers, we use them to hide ourselves from business people. Instead of talking to an individual, we tend to complete the forms.
The issue motivated me to start working on Conversation Patterns for Software Professionals, which are techniques for having better conversations with stakeholders and drilling their real needs. The Patterns makes soft skills more technical guy-friendly and easier to apply.
I do believe that quality of answers you get attests to quality of questions you have asked. So, which of the following questions will give the most valuable informations?
- Do you want to add new items to the backlog?
- What of new items you want to add to the backlog?
- What of new features you're going to use next week?
This will be my first conference outside of the Poland as a speaker, so wish me luck!:)