“Your job isn’t to build more software faster: it’s to maximize the outcome and impact you get from what you choose to build.”
― Jeff Patton, User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product
A User Story is the most effective technique to enhance product Agility. Apart from being just a list of features, it brings the user to the picture. A user story is a vital component of Agile product management which bridge user and the product.
Mike Chouhan of Mountain goat software has defined this concept with best regards in his book ” user stories applied for Agile software”. According to him;
“We make decisions according to the information we have at hand right now, and we do it often. Rather than making one all-encompassing set of decisions at the outset of a project, we spread the decision-making uniformly across the duration of the project. To do this, we make sure we have a process the procedures that get us information as early and often as possible. And this is where user stories come into the picture.”
Who writes a User Story?
A user story is written in the context of the product from the customers point of view. It is written by generally Stakeholders, Product managers and product owners. Writing a user story is mere mapping of well-configured document in pen and paper, but who are actually participating in the discussion of bringing them into life is the real concern.
It has a detailed expression of buyers personas experience and how about product usage. A good user story can only be written with a good understanding of the customers requirement and intentions. If the customer is not present in the course of time for feedback, the team consisting of designers, techies and writer behave as customer proxy to pretend as a user on behalf of the real clients. Participant vary for various stages,
- User story creation.
- User story maintenance.
- User story application and usage.
Techniques to write good user stories:
Prior to writing, collect initial information through a user survey.
conduct query interviews through buyers persona to know the projectile of the journey and note it down in fragments before assembling them down. put the foot keynotes on a wall or post it in a common room so that everyone can have a look and work on it.
There are few techniques curated to write effective user stories.
1.RGB structure: Role-feature-reason or benefit
As a (user/persona/customer), I want to (do something) so that I will (achieve a benefit)
Ron Jeffries curated three C approach, to add into the RGB module.
Card: Write the answers to the RGB module questionaries in the card.
Conversation: Whatever is written on the card in a precise manner, it has to be elevated in detail and require a discussion. This is acquired by a conversation among the teammates.
Confirmation: the result of the above conversation results in confirmation of resulted queries. put down all of them on the back of the card. It will be used a future reference checklist by team members before proceeding to next steps.
This acronym was coined in an article by Bill Wake in 2003. it is a method to evaluate user stories in consecutive steps and efforts.
- Independence to create a sequence
- Capability to negotiate to which extent a story can be developed
- facilitating Value to the business
- can be Estimated for completion
- It is feasible and Small enough to design, code and test in a one iteration
- and can be finally subjected and Tested.
Benefits of writing a great user story:
At some point of time, user stories may become a cumbersome ask for product managers and product developers than a shortcut requirement list. but writing a user story keeps everyone involved as it is cooperation dependent and involves active involvement of all the team members at once. Do you know what happens by that?
it keeps everybody on the same page when it comes to following procedures and adapt to any changes henceforth on every step.
Some of the acquired benefits involve:
- Since it breaks down a bigger picture into smaller fragments, it accelerates the progression and make it happen more quickly
- facilitate smooth moving and quick succession of happenings among team members
- Put the customer ie the end-user at first priority which avails greater user experience
- Foster creative planning and collaborative group work for better productivity.
Hands-on tips to create a good user story:
- Focus on end-user always
- Try to keep it short simple and precise
- Don’t overstuff it with technical details which may get difficult to comprehend by normal users.
- Focus on W’s: who will use it, what is important. why it is important
- try to make the description visually effective.
- Include the involvement of all the users
- bring clarity while you describe the values and benefit.