Writing good user stories
For many software development teams striving towards agile, the idea of writing user stories can seem like another “thing” agile piles on top of their already busy workloads. We hear you, we’re busy too!
A user story helps agile software development teams capture simplified, high-level descriptions of a user’s requirements written from that end user’s perspective. A user story is not a contextless feature, written in “dev” speak.
So how do we write user stories? Better yet, how do we write good ones?
A user story, much like a persona, adds context to your work and in turn value.
The fact is, it’s easy to get buried in a contextless, feature developing cycle. The objective becomes more about clearing your way through a laundry list backlog, than it is about building solutions that add value to your customers. Your human customers. User stories bring that context and perspective into the development cycle.
Here is the equation for writing a user story:
Writing acceptance criteria
User stories allow teams to have one hand on the needs, wants and values of their customers, and another, on the activities they need to accomplish to provide that value.
The link pairing these two things together, is acceptance criteria.
Acceptance Criteria or ‘conditions of satisfaction’, provide a detailed scope of a user’s requirements. They help the team to understand the value of the story and set expectations as to when a team should consider something done.
- Download our guide to writing good user stories and acceptance criteria, including a user story checklist