User Story

Written on


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.

Acceptance Criteria

  • The 3 W’s (who, what, why) are implemented in the sentence.
  • The sentence is supported by a list of acceptance criteria.

Best Practice

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:


  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Ambitious
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound
comments powered by Disqus