How to Write a User Story in 4 Easy Steps

agile user stories

User stories capture information about how a software product should behave or be used by the customer.   User stories can be brief or lengthy, but should follow a few simple guidelines to be effective and useful to agile scrum teams:

1.  Make sure the user story focuses on a scenario that the end user will execute.  Write from the users perspective.  Include information about how the user might interact with the code.  The user role in the story does not have to be generic.  It’s ok to write the story from a particular type of user’s standpoint (i.e. As an insurance agent, I will use the XYZ tool to store client information after each claim is processed…).

2.  Review the user stories with stakeholders.  There are few better ways to prevent error than running a user story by a customer.  Not every software developer will have this luxury, but this is possible, don’t miss the opportunity!   Review also with your team members to leverage experience and make sure the story is cohesive with other stories in your epic.

3.  If  a user story is large and unwieldy, break it down.  The team can decide the right level of granularity for user stories.  Use this flexibility.

4.  Define acceptance criteria.  Make sure the user story is clearly bound.  As a software developer, you should always know the precise moment you have completed a story.

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