"As a user of your system, I want functionality so that I can achieve my goals. Unfortunately, your team's users stories are getting in the way."

Users Stories, the tool teams use to break ideas into small chunks of deliverable work, are easy to describe and challenging to write. This session is about writing great user stories and acceptance criteria by ensuring everyone on the team knows what needs to be done. We will discuss what elements should be included and which ones are optional; why the size of your user story is important and how to make them smaller; and the structure for better acceptance criteria.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

This talk is broken down into four (4) sections. 

I. Elements of a User Story

Presenter led discussion

  1. What's the structure on a card and why
  2. Guidelines to ensure your story makes sense (I.N.V.E.S.T.)
  3. How to write a good title
  4. What's included in a story & when


II. Writing Smaller Stories

Discussion and activity

  1. Why we should focus on keeping stories small (lecture)
  2. What are some guidelines for breaking down / slicing stories (activity)


III. Acceptance Criteria - the good stuff

Storytelling exercise

  1. Why we need to focus on functionality
  2. Using Given - When - Then to document functionality
  3. Tips to writing better A. C. 


IV. Question and Answers

Facilitated conversation

  1. All of these "requirements engineering" guidelines are pushing analysts, product owners, and teams away from the important part of User Stories: Conversation & Common Understanding.

  2. What can we do about this? 

Learning Outcome

  1. Differentiate between the different elements of a user story and state when they may be appropriate
  2. Practice breaking down sample stories into smaller user stories
  3. Review how to capture functional requirements into 
  4. Evaluate the practices around user stories against the goals of shared understanding 

Target Audience

Product Owners, Analysts, Business Partners, interested team members


schedule Submitted 6 years ago

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