Agile reminds us that the focus of any set of requirements needs to be on an outcome rather than a collection of whats and whos. Storytelling is a powerful tool to elevate even the most diehard requirements analyst from a discussion of individual requirements to a discussion of outcomes. Outcomes are the big picture that acts as an anchor for whole efforts and which is continuously broken down into more and more detailed product backlogs. The onion metaphor that is popularly used in agile planning can be used to describe the evolution of backlogs. Building an initial backlog is much like peeling through the layers of an onion to get to the core. There are many mechanisms for developing and maintaining the detailed backlogs, including asking, observing, showing and hybrids. Using the onion metaphor, techniques for developing and splitting user stories are the second layer of the onion. However, before getting to the center of the backlog evolution onion, we need to understand the big picture.
Video producer: http://oredev.org/