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Agile User Stories

User Stories Should Be *Testable*

The *T* in the the ‘Invest’ acronym (a way to remember and assess what makes a good User Story) stands for Testable. The most common forms of User Story that are not testable are big User Stories, known as Epics, or non-functional User Stories… An Epic can be a User Story that really comprises multiple User Stories. Or perhaps an

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User Stories Should Be *Small*

User Stories should be small. This is what the *S* stands for in the the ‘Invest’ acronym; a way to remember and assess what makes a good User Story. Not too small. But certainly not too big. So what is the right size for a good User Story? First of all, let’s get one thing straight. This statement is slightly

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User Stories Should Be *Estimatable*

User Stories should be possible to Estimate. If you follow the other aspects of the ‘Invest’ acronym, chances are they will be. The *E* in ‘Invest’ stands for Estimatable; another useful way to measure whether a User Story is good or not. So what are the potential barriers to a User Story being Estimatable? Too big? Maybe the story is

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User Stories Should Be *Valuable*

I recently quoted the ‘Invest’ acronym as a way to remember and assess what makes a good User Story. The *V* in ‘Invest’ stands for *Valuable*. It is often said by people in the agile community that User Stories should be of value to the user. Whilst that is mostly true, some User Stories are not of value to the

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User Stories Should Be *Negotiable*

User Stories are not a contract. They are not meant to be precise, detailed specifications of a feature. They should not be fixed in stone. I recently quoted the ‘Invest’ acronym as a way to remember and assess what makes a good User Story. The *N* in ‘Invest’ stands for Negotiable. A User Story is a reminder. A reminder to

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User Stories Should Be *Independent*

In my last entry, I quoted the ‘Invest’ acronym as a possible way to remember and assess whether or not User Stories are good. The *I* in ‘Invest’ stands for Independent. Ideally a User Story would be as small as possible, without making it dependent on other Stories. I recently posted an Example of a User Story. In the next

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*Invest* in Good User Stories

User Stories are certainly an easy concept. But what makes a Good User Story? That’s a bit of an open question. I’m sure everyone has a different opinion of what good looks like. But there are certainly some common characteristics of a Good User Story. Bill Wake, author of ‘eXtreme Programming Explored’, suggests this ‘INVEST’ acronym as a simple way

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Software Requirements Are A Communication Problem

Let’s face it. There is no perfect solution. No perfect solution for humans to share information accurately, consistently between multiple people, and over a prolonged period of time. Especially when you add into that equation the level of detail that’s needed to capture the requirements for a major software application. And then there’s the complexity of software. And the fact

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Introducing User Stories (PowerPoint)

Here’s another PowerPoint presentation for you – ‘Introducing User Stories‘. For more agile presentations, see also: * 10 Key Principles of Agile * Implementing Scrum If you find this presentation useful, please tell people about my blog… Thanks! Kelly.

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That’s Not A User Story, That’s An Epic!

When putting User Stories onto a Product Backlog (or feature list), you shouldn’t feel compelled to break everything down until the features are nearing development. Further down the Product Backlog, it’s fine for items to be fairly fuzzy. It’s also fine for items further down the backlog to be whole projects – large, high-level items that are not so much

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