What BDD Means in Scrum: A Story of Collaboration and Success

What BDD Means in Scrum: A Story of Collaboration and Success

Once Upon a Time...

Once upon a time, in a bustling office filled with agile teams, there was a Scrum Master named Sarah. Sarah was known for her exceptional ability to guide her team through the complex world of software development using the Scrum framework. However, there was one aspect of Scrum that always intrigued her, and that was Behavior-Driven Development, or BDD. She had heard whispers and rumors about its benefits, but she wanted to truly understand what BDD meant in the context of Scrum.

Bridging the Gap: Introducing BDD to the Team

One sunny morning, Sarah gathered her team for their daily stand-up meeting. As they went around the circle sharing their progress and challenges, Sarah couldn't help but notice that the team seemed a bit disconnected. The developers were focused on writing code, the testers were busy finding bugs, and the product owner seemed lost in a sea of user stories. Sarah decided that it was the perfect time to introduce BDD to her team and bring them closer together.

A Story of Need: Exploring BDD with Awesome Apps Inc.

During the next sprint planning meeting, Sarah explained BDD to her team using a story. She told them about a fictional company called "Awesome Apps Inc." that was developing a new mobile application. The product owner of Awesome Apps Inc. had a vision of what the app should do, but the team needed a way to ensure that they were building the right features and delivering value to the users.

Shifting Perspective: From Test Cases to User Stories

Sarah explained that BDD was a collaborative approach that encouraged the entire team to focus on the behavior of the software from the user's perspective. Instead of writing traditional test cases, BDD involved creating user stories with concrete examples that described how the system should behave. These examples were written in a language that both the developers and the stakeholders could understand, bridging the gap between technical and non-technical team members.

Breaking it Down: An Example User Story in Action

To illustrate her point, Sarah shared an example user story with her team. "As a user, I want to be able to log in to the app using my email and password," she said. "Let's think about what behavior we expect from this feature." The team brainstormed and came up with various scenarios, such as entering an incorrect password, using an invalid email address, or encountering a slow network connection.

Collaboration Triumphs: Building Together with BDD

With the user stories and examples in hand, the team started collaborating more closely. The developers and testers worked together to write code that fulfilled the expected behavior, while the product owner and stakeholders provided feedback and clarification on the examples. This collaboration ensured that everyone had a shared understanding of what was expected, reducing misunderstandings and rework.

Navigating the Maze: Story Estimation with BDD and Scrum

While the collaborative spirit of BDD had transformed Sarah's team, a familiar hurdle soon loomed: story estimation. The dreaded task of assigning point values to user stories still hung in the air, a potential point of friction even in their newfound harmony. But Sarah, armed with the spirit of BDD, wouldn't let traditional estimation techniques cast a shadow on their progress.

Instead of diving headfirst into hours or points, Sarah proposed a BDD-inspired approach to story estimation. This meant putting the user center stage, not just in the stories themselves, but also in the way they were evaluated. The team embraced the following steps:

  1. Deep Dive with Personas: Before any points flew, the team delved deeper into the user stories. They crafted detailed personas, embodying the users whose needs would be met by the features. This involved fleshing out their motivations, expectations, and potential pain points. By stepping into the user's shoes, the team gained a clearer understanding of the story's true value and complexity.

  2. Scenario Showdown: Armed with their user personas, the team dissected each story into smaller, concrete scenarios. This involved translating the "As a user, I want..." statements into specific situations and interactions. By breaking down the story into manageable chunks, the team could more accurately assess the effort required for each piece.

  3. Collaboration Conquers Complexity: Each scenario became a platform for discussion and estimation. Developers, testers, and the product owner all contributed their perspectives, considering technical feasibility, potential risks, and edge cases. Unlike the solitary act of traditional estimation, this collaborative approach ensured everyone was on the same page and any ambiguities were ironed out early on.

  4. Focus on Value, Not Just Effort: While effort remained a factor, the BDD approach placed equal emphasis on the user's perspective. The team considered the impact each story would have on the user's experience and its overall contribution to the product's value proposition. This holistic approach prevented estimations from becoming fixated solely on technical hurdles.

  5. Embracing Uncertainty: Unlike the quest for precise numbers, Sarah's team learned to embrace uncertainty. They acknowledged that estimations were inevitably imprecise, especially in a constantly evolving environment. Instead of striving for rigid accuracy, they focused on establishing relative effort between stories, using techniques like Fibonacci sequences or relative sizing.

Through this BDD-infused estimation process, Sarah's team discovered a newfound confidence in their planning. The user-centric approach fostered shared understanding, mitigated risks, and ensured everyone was aligned on the value they were building. Estimation, once a dreaded hurdle, became a collaborative exercise that strengthened their Scrum journey and kept their focus firmly on their users.

Remember, BDD isn't just about features and code; it's about understanding the impact your software has on the people who use it. By incorporating BDD principles into your story estimation process, you can foster a collaborative environment, build software that truly matters, and navigate the maze of uncertainty with confidence.

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  • BDD Harmony: Imagine seamlessly blending Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) principles into your story estimation process. "Plan Fast" promises to harmonize your approach, ensuring a user-centric perspective that aligns perfectly with agile methodologies.

  • Collaboration Unleashed: Break free from silos and embrace a collaborative approach. "Plan Fast" empowers your team to dissect stories, discuss scenarios, and estimate efforts together. Bid farewell to ambiguity as your team achieves a unified understanding.

  • Value-Centric Estimation: Shift your focus from mere technical hurdles to a holistic consideration of value. "Plan Fast" encourages estimations that weigh the impact on user experience, fostering a culture where every story contributes significantly to your product's overall value.

  • Embrace Uncertainty Confidently: In a world of constant evolution, uncertainty is the only certainty. "Plan Fast" allows you to navigate this uncertainty with confidence. Establish relative effort between stories using techniques like Fibonacci sequences and more, acknowledging the inherent imprecision of estimations.

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From Disconnected to Engaged: Witnessing the Transformation

As the sprint progressed, Sarah noticed a positive shift in her team's dynamics. The once disconnected individuals were now working together towards a common goal. BDD had given them a shared language and a clear focus on delivering value to the users. The team felt more engaged and motivated, knowing that they were building features that truly mattered.

Reflecting on Success: BDD Beyond Buzzwords

At the end of the sprint, Sarah gathered her team for a retrospective. The team unanimously agreed that BDD had transformed the way they worked. They praised the collaborative nature of BDD and how it had improved communication and alignment within the team. They also shared stories of how BDD had helped them catch critical defects early in the development cycle, resulting in higher quality software.

Empowered by BDD: A Journey of Collaboration and Success

As Sarah reflected on the team's success, she realized that BDD was not just a set of techniques or practices. It was a mindset that fostered collaboration, shared understanding, and a relentless focus on delivering value. BDD had become an integral part of their Scrum journey, and Sarah couldn't wait to see where it would take them next.


In conclusion, BDD is not just a buzzword in the world of Scrum; it is a powerful tool that can transform how teams work together. By focusing on behavior and using concrete examples, BDD brings teams closer, aligns their efforts, and ensures that they are building the right features. So, embrace the power of BDD and watch your team soar to new heights of collaboration and success.