Creating good user stories

When I think about Product Owner daily duties first thing that pop in my mind is managing Backlog. This very important activity is often postponed or pushed into 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 couple of things.

INVEST in good user story

There are couple of properties that every user storie 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, than that to much 😉
  • Testable. We need to somehow check if AC’s are met.

Start with 3C

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

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

Make SMART tasks

This is another acronym of 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 couple of 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).
  • Dont fix on template *as an Elephant in order to drink I need trunk*. It usually makes sense but if it dont – dont enforce it.

You can read more speciffic article on Setapp blog

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