INVESTING IN USER STORIES PAYS OFF AND MAKEs AGILE WORK









Take the time to INVEST in your User Stories and you will notice the considerable change in how effective planning has become. These tips will help you to write a good User Story template.


I highly recommend using INVEST technique while writing User Stories and am extremely influenced by the benefits it brings to the whole software development life cycle - planning, estimating, development, testing and most importantly customer expectation management. This technique also helps in crafting a good user story template





Independent: As much as possible, try to ensure that the User stories are independent. It is easy to prioritize, plan and understand the context if these are not interdependent.



Negotiable: A User Story is not a detailed contract for features. It should capture that essence and not go into the details. Its purpose is to encourage ongoing conversation and scope for negotiation between the customer and the developers.



Valuable: A story should provide value to the customer or the user. If a customer cannot think of a value statement, then perhaps we should de-prioritize the story or maybe the work is unnecessary, and we should eliminate it altogether.



Estimatable: User Story should be written in such a way that the developers can understand and have an idea of how to implement it. Customers don’t need an exact estimate but enough information to rank and schedule the feature implementation.



Small: Stories are small chunks of work that represent a mere day's of a persons work.



Testable: If a customer can't test the User story, this may indicate that the story isn’t clear enough. Stories should be testable to confirm the order of “done”





Inspired from article by Bill Wake published on August 17, 2003 “INVEST in Good Stories, and SMART Tasks”