Well defined and carefully written user stories or epics (Product Backlog items) form the basis for the Grooming or Sprint Planning meetings. In this article we share a number of tips on how to write user stories in a clear and concise manner that is easy to understand for all team members.

1. Every user story we create should comply with the INVEST rule. This means that they should have the following qualities:

  • Independent – All user stories should be independent from each other. This means that the team can tackle any one of them without worrying how this would affect the other stories.
  • Negotiable – Every user story should be a result of negotiations between the business representative and the Development Team.
  • Valuable – Every user story should bring value to the end user.
  • Estimable – The team has to be able to estimate every user story’s labour intensity.
  • Scalable, small sized – User stories should be small enough for the team to be able to plan their completion with high dose of certainty within one sprint.
  • Testable – The user story’s description should provide the testers with enough information so that they can verify if it addresses all of the requirements.

2. When creating a new user story you should ask yourself three questions: Who, What, Why? Below is an example of a good user story:

As a client and a user of the new ABC website I can download an electronic version of the manual for the device I purchased so that I don’t have to look for it’s paper equivalent that I lost.

3. Every Scrum user story should consist of acceptance criteria – a set of guidelines that will make it easier for the team members to check if the delivered solution matches the requirements.

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