User Stories: Background & Benefits

What are they? Why use them?

Story Time with the Fam
Everybody loves a good story.

Stories are powerful tools.

They help us remember, they entertain us and they allow us to relate to one another unlike anything else.

If you’re familiar with Agile development (if not, start here) you’re probably aware that user stories are a common approach for capturing product requirements. But have you ever wondered, why?
Or have you ever been curious about where they originated?

If so, this article might be able to help.

Key Takeaways


What is a user story? 

A user story is a lightweight method for quickly capturing the “who”, “what” and “why” of a product requirement.

User stories are written in everyday language and describe a specific goal (what) from the perspective of an individual (who) along with the reason (why) he/she wants it.

In software development, the goal Continue reading “User Stories: Background & Benefits”

Scrum vs Agile

What’s the difference? How do they relate?

Scrum Co-founders: Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber
Scrum co-founders: Jeff Sutherland & Ken Schwaber img

Ever find yourself using “Agile” and “Scrum” interchangeably because you’re unsure which is correct?

Do you know the history of each term or how the two are related?

Did you know that’s it’s been over 30 years since the article that inspired Scrum was published in the Harvard Business Review?

If these questions interest you or you’d just like stop confusing the terms (like me!), this article may be able to help

Quick Overview


While the two concepts are related with many of the same players involved, Agile and Scrum are not synonymous. “Agile” refers to a group of several software development frameworks that are united around a few key principles. “Scrum” is simply Continue reading “Scrum vs Agile”

Getting Things Done

How I Never Forget To Do Anything

Do you often have the best intentions but fail to follow through?

Do you make too many commitments and feel overwhelmed from trying to juggle way too many tasks?

Do you have piles of “stuff” that continually builds up in your mind that you’re never quite sure what to do about?

If so, this blog may be for you.

Ok… “never” may be a strong word. I do forget things on occasion, but I have found that it seems to happen much less frequently than many people.

In the past, I’ve been somewhat reluctant to talk much about productivity and self-improvement until a recent conversation with a couple of friends who encouraged me to share more often.

Getting Things Done by David Allen
Getting Things Done by David Allen

So today I thought I would share a simplified version of the system I use to organize everything that comes across my plate.

First off, I don’t believe that the ability to remember and keep track of commitments is a reflection of one’s character, work ethic or intelligence. It’s simply about having a trusted system in place that works for you.

The following 5 steps are Continue reading “Getting Things Done”

Tell to Win by Peter Guber

Some Key Takeaways in 100 Words

Quick Overview


Whether it’s conducting business negotiations, communicating a leadership vision or consoling a friend, a powerful, well-told story is the single greatest tool for effectively communicating ideas.

Why stories? 
Tell to Win by Peter Guber
People listen to and connect with stories because they quickly enhance the teller/listener relationship allowing for a greater exchange of empathy, people understand stories because they simplify complex ideas and people remember stories because they ignite a part of the brain that assigns meaning – the key remembering.

How to tell a good one? 

A compelling story needs a challenge, a struggle and a resolution. Try creating an element of surprise by setting an expectation and then violating it or using metaphors and analogies to evoke images, create an emotional connection and enhance memory.

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss

Summary & Highlights for Rapid Fat Loss

Introduction


Tim Ferriss is a problem solver. And he loves sharing with the world how he does it.

We’re not talking about math problems, geopolitical crises or world hunger (at least not yet, anyway), but what one might call “life” problems: those times when you find yourself at point A, want to get to point B but don’t quite know how to get there.

That’s where Ferriss might be able to help.

The Princeton graduate first shared how to “Escape 9 to 5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” back in 2007 with the 4-Hour Work Week. It quickly became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller.

He most recently published the 4-Hour Chef to tackle issues of self-improvement and accelerated learning, and just prior to that, he released the 4-Hour Body to share his journey to answer questions, expose myths and, yes, solve more problems, related to health, nutrition and physical performance.

4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss

His method remains consistent: 1) seek out experts in a chosen field, 2) put those expert’s theories to the test using himself as a guinea pig, and 3) deconstruct each expert’s system into a set of simple, actionable rules that can easily be consumed by the masses. Yes, that means you. 

He interviews elite bodybuilders to delve into topics like fat loss and adding muscle, grills Olympic lifting coaches for insights on strength and explosiveness, shadows endurance athletes to learn how to swim for miles with minimal training, uncovers Continue reading “The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss”