48 – User Stories

Collaborative games or workshops aim at promoting cooperation within your team and provides it with a common goal so that all the members participating in the game can work together.

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Definition

A user story is a brief and concise description of a functionality or quality of a product or a service. It is informative and is written in spoken language.

How many times did we hear the client say: you implemented what was written, but this is not what I wanted? User stories focus on the value for the business. They invite the exploration of requirements by encouraging further discussions with stakeholders.

A user story is typically a sentence or two, each one containing 10 to 15 words, describing the need(s) of a user, their intended goal and any additional information required to understand the story.

A user story is not an untouchable list of needs. It is regularly modified, which makes it very common to use in agile methodology.

Why use User Stories?

  • Captures stakeholder needs and prioritize development of solutions

  • Provides a basis for estimating and planning solution delivery.

  • Allows generating user acceptance tests

  • Measures the delivery of value.

  • Traces and retraces requirements.

  • Creates a basis for additional analysis.

  • Assists project management and monitoring.

Although user stories are able to quickly provide value, this speed makes documentation less complete. Indeed, the objective of a user story is not to sustain management needs, to form a baseline for future works or to fulfil stakeholders’ expectations. Additional documentation can be required.

Strengths

  • Easily accessible and understandable. Saves time and offers great versatility.
  • Manageable through numerous techniques of elicitation.
  • Focuses on stakeholders. It allows you to benefit from a constant business value by delivering what the clients are in need of.
  • It improves overall understanding of business domain through cooperation. Moreover, the small size of stories leaves room for debate and backlog movements.
  • Quickly creates value thank to easily implementable tests and regular feedbacks.

  • How to create a User Story

    INVEST criteria

    Who is accountable for writing user stories?

    Read more by subscribing to the BA Toolkit 

    On top of the brief description of the method, access to:

    • an explanation of when and how to use it,
    • a practical example,
    • tips and recommendations for use,
    • downloadable checklists and templates,
    • references for further reading,

    Table of contents

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