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Topics: Agile, Scrum
Can a device be a persona in a user story?

Hello Agile practitioners! I am ad portas of starting a new project and my project team has requested that this time we use Agile practices throughout the project; yes, I know, it is a dream come true!.

We have already collected the system requirements but have had some issues writing some of the user stories as they look so artificial. This is because we will be developing software for an embedded system and it won't be interfacing a lot with users, rather, it interfaces a lot with our central system.

In this regards, many user stories begin with "As a developer I want the device to ..." or "As a system administrator I want the device to ...". The question is, can the device be turned into a Persona?, is it right to write a user story like:

"As a device, I need to check if I have the latest firmware version and pull it from the central system otherwise"?

I think this latter form will make the user stories clearer, but I want to hear your opinions. I have read that we could add FDD features to our backlog, but I don't want to add so much complexity from the beginning to our Agile effort.

Your thoughts are welcome!
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Juan, correct. you can also give some name to the device
eg: FATTY needs to check if It has the latest firmware version and pulls it from the central system otherwise.

Juan -

Remember that user stories are the start of a conversation regarding a need. For such technical requirements, you can certainly use the traditional As A I Want To So That format, but it is equally acceptable to use a more traditional way of phrasing the requirement.

If you are managing work in a tool like JIRA, these can still be captured as stories, but they don't need to be phrased like functional stories...

Let's be pragmatic about agile - one size doesn't fit all...



Stay Agile! why not.

User stories usually begin with a requirement or needed functionality. It doesn't have to be a human requirement. Remember some persona's are of humans that do not exist, so why not a system that does exist. The fact is it is a human anyway, because you (or someone else) is making assumptions about what the system needs based on your expertise with the system and the technology. So in truth, rather than "as a system..." or "as a device..." which is fine to write it that way because it makes more sense to the customer, it is more like "as a system with Juan's brain..." know what I mean? Of course I am not suggesting to write it that way, but you may want to include an assumption somewhere that a human is imposing their view of what they believe the system or device needs...until the day the device or system can think for itself :-)

Thanks for all your valuable insights on this subject! -- It will help us not only on this, but in future controversies.

Best regards,

Juan Pablo Paz

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