Imagine you’re on your way preparing an incredible tech product, with validated features by market, and only take one step to make it happen which is build the product. You give it to a software development service to work on your idea. You eagerly discuss with the developer team to explain about the product you want and after few months it’s built and delivered to you. The functionalities of the product you expect that has trough much research is far bellow your expectation. It’s all because the discussion you had with developer team were not clearly captured by them.

You used common language of the business values and they speak technically. The developer team can’t catch what you want and you are not able to understand what they talking about in their terms. Your product failed and have to rebuild everything from scratch.

What is User Story?

User story is an important things for agile project, it’s a simple description of the desire of a user for a need. These stories are written from end-user’s point of view and the language is very informal and easy to understand.

In technical side, it’s the description of a feature from an end-users point of view and helps the product team in identifying their users and requirements. It also helps to break down all the complexity into simple and easy to understand words.

Why we need User Story?

As mentioned above, user stories are super important for the success of a product. It become the bridge between stakeholders and the developer team in product development process by shared understanding and language between them. Both parties could understand customer’s requirements and challenges related to the technology.

Simple language means it’s understandable by technical and non technical and used as medium of communication, it also helps in engaging each stakeholder. The nature of user stories ignites product discussion among different stakeholders.

User Focus Approach

This method give 100% focus to end users, means that everything is designed with the end-users mind right from the beginning. The story align the product team with what users want. It serve as a constant reminder of serving user needs. Thus, user satisfaction is maximized due to user story.

How to Write User Story

Creating a User story always fit the criteria of INVEST by Bill Wake.

  • I for independent, means they can be develop in any sequence and changes to one user story don’t affect the others.
  • N for Negotiable, means it’s up to the team to decide how to implement them. There is no rigidly fixed workflow.
  • V is for Valuable, means each user story delivers a detached unit of value to the end user.
  • E for Estimable, it’s quite easy to guess how much time development of a user story will take.
  • S for Small, it should go through the whole cycle ( design, code, test) during one sprint.
  • T for Testable, There should be clear acceptance criteria to check whether the user story implement correctly.

User story always use simple plain short format, starts with, As a {User Personas} i want {an action} so that {benefit or value}. For example “As a user i want to link more than one credit card to my account. So that I have an option to pay something with one of my credit cards”.

From example above we know that user as user personas. Then Link more one credit card is an action and has option to pay is a benefit or value.

Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria provide a detailed scope of an user’s requirements. It helps the team understand the user story’s value and set expectations of something that the team can consider done.

Acceptance criteria are also a set of conditions used to confirm whether or not a user story is complete. Let’s have a look an example of completed user story with acceptance criteria. Let’s use previous user story “As a user I want to link more than 1 credit card to my account. So, that I have an option to pay something with one of my credit cards”. Acceptance Criteria are:

  • It has 5 maximum limit to link credit card
  • User can’t add new credit card with the same data from existing linked credit card.

Now we understand some key characteristics that require special attention during the implementation of user story. From this video you will grow a broader and deeper knowledge of your company’s service or product and it’s user. Which will ultimately leads to better more effective user stories coming from all across your team.

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