A User Story explains the who, the what, and the why. – Who needs what, and why (i.e. what is their motivation?)
It is good practice to support a user story by a list of Acceptance Criteria, a check list describing the resulting state.
As a < who > I want < what > so that < why >.
< acceptance criteria >
As a software developer I want project managers to write their feature wishes down as User Stories so that I can read and understand them really fast, and there are less misunderstandings.
- The 3 W’s (who, what, why) are implemented in the sentence.
- The sentence is supported by a list of acceptance criteria.
Good user stories follow the INVEST formula:
- Independent = not dependent on other user stories or preconditions
- Negotiable = allows discussion about implementation details
- Valuable = delivers real value to the end user
- Estimatable = crystal clear, so it can be estimated accurately
- Small = the smaller the task the less must be thought of, and the more certain an estimation will be
- Testable = a distinct number of steps can be carried out to test the implementation
Good goals (as part of a user story) follow the SMART formula:
- INVEST formula (Wikipedia)
- SMART formula (Wikipedia)
- 10 Tips for Writing Good User Stories (Roman Pichler)
- Good user stories – with sticky notes and acceptance tests (Blog)
- Good user stories are elevator-friendly (Blog)
- Who writes user stories?
- User Stories + Acceptance Criteria in Scrum in 7 Minutes (YouTube)
- How to Write User Stories that Bring Your Team Together