Creating good user stories

When I think about Product Owner daily duties first thing that pops in my mind is managing Backlog. This very important activity is often postponed or pushed into a corner because it might be considered boring or not creative. When I agree with that this is not a rocket science I don’t agree that creating good user stories are not demanding task. In order to create better user stories, I recommend a couple of things.

INVEST in good user story

There are the couple of properties that every user stories should cover, and Invest is just a mnemonic for those:

  • Independent. AC’s should not depend on other stories.
  • Negotiable. There is always option to alter scope.
  • Valuable. They have to give value!
  • Estimable. We are able to say how big it is.
  • Small. If we say this is very big then that too much ūüėČ
  • Testable. We need to somehow check if AC’s are met.

Start with 3C

If you are creating user story from scratch, then a good way might be to start with a technique named Card-Conversation-Confirmation. That stand for:

  1. Card. Start by making a very generic post it about functionality.
  2. Conversation. Discuss what people mean about it.
  3. Confirmation. Make a more formal story based on the previous step.

Make SMART tasks

This is another acronym for describing things:

  • Specific goal – there have to be something to achieve.
  • Measurable – you need to measure the thing.
  • Action – start as soon as possible.
  • Realistic – the thing must be doable.
  • Time-boxed – know when things should end.

Tips

There are a few things that I also think are worth noticing:

  • Focus on value (it is very important to say why you need this story to be done).
  • Don’t fix on template *as an Elephant in order to drink I need trunk*. It usually makes sense but if it doesn’t – don’t enforce it.

You can read a more specific article on Setapp blog

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