Lightweight methods started appearing in response to observed problems in software development organisations. The umbrella ‘agile’ term was coined during a small meeting at a ski resort in 2000 and has since gone on to become a common, if not predominant, approach throughout the industry. Along the way things have changed – this was both understandable and necessary – but many of the important motivations have been lost and some unhelpful dogma has accumulated.

In this session we’ll focus on the user story, from its early articulation as a lightweight technique to defer detailed analysis through to its current existence as a rigid catechism. We’ll briefly consider what we’ve lost and what we’ve gained through planning poker, INVEST, and various story templates. By charting the evolution of the user story, in conjunction with the broader trajectory of ‘agile’, I will infer a few of the possible futures of agile.

And, as an outcome, I hope to stimulate further discussion that might suggest some alternative outcomes for the future.

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