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First, I am using the TFS 2010 SCRUM template.

I am wondering if this is a bad idea...

I started defining a PBI for User Interface Elements. Basically, this will hold all the tasks that developers will be assigned when developing UI elements for a web application. Since this has to do with user interaction and usability I was thinking it may be OK, however my struggle is that it also can be considered functionality and may not fit as a PBI.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Nov 23 '11 at 23:50

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

In Scrum, User Stories or PBIs as they are called in this template (and some others) are supposed to be vertical slices of functionality. This means that they describe features or other tangible benefits that the system provides. An example for some such benefit would be something like In order to reduce the amount of spam sent from my system, as a service administrator, I want to limit access to the send mail to registered users only.

This describes a change in the system that is end to end. It will include all of the associated tasks: adding UI for signing in, adding a single-sign-on service, modifying the DB schema to support the feature, etc. When all of the tasks are completed, the user will have a complete new feature added to the app.

What you described is actually a horizontal slice of functionality. If all the (UI) tasks are completed, and the PBI is done, the user hasn't gained anything. There is no value to the user / customer.

Therefore you should try to think in "vertical" slices - functionality, rather than "horizontal" slices which are technical layers.

Hope this helps,
Assaf

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Assaf, I think defining the user experience is an essential part of defining a PBI. Without it, you are encouraging developers to ignore the user experience which will inevitably create results that are of poor performance and unintuitive in nature.

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