Using Storyotypes to Split Bloated XP Stories

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Abstract

An ideal XP project is composed of stories defined by the customer that are of the right size and focus to plan and manage according to XP principles and practices. A story that is too large creates a variety of problems: it might not fit into a single iteration; there are a large number of tasks that must be coordinated; it can be too large to test adequately at the story/functional level; too much non-essential functionality is bundled early in development causing essential functionality to be deferred. Teams new to XP find managing the size of stories especially challenging because they lack the experience required to simplify and breakdown large stories. This experience report describes four heuristics (storyotypes) we have used on our XP projects to successfully manage the size of stories.