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User stories and user story examples

The most important role, structure and features of a user story will be illustrated in this article through an example.

A user story describes a function from the end-user's (users) point of view, which is broken down into well-defined technical tasks (subtasks) by agile teams.


What is a user story?


The smallest business unit that is still meaningful to both the business and the developers. Once decomposed, subtasks are more technical in approach.


The most important role of user stories is to represent the needs of the user, replacing the traditional requirements specification. It is true that the specification carries more information, such as system functionality, compliance, vendors and other requirements, but the focus of these stories is on business value and user-centric thinking.  This gives developers a better understanding of what the real business need is.


Story formulation and structure


The formulation of the user story is: "I, as (user role) want to (plot) because (business value)."

Example of a story: 'I, as a car owner, want the car to set the speed limit by itself and to stop at that speed, because then I don't have to watch the speed and I won't be fined for speeding'

Example of a user story structure:

  • Name
  • Description
  • Acceptance criteria - even by specifying a narrative;
  • What we don't do now, but know could have business value or reduce risk later (Not list/Not now list);
  • Test cases that the team and Product Owner can write (Non trivial testcases);
  • Where we get data from, where we send it (Data move);
  • All other useful information: tags, photos, comments, questions to the PO, ...


INVEST, features of a good story


INVEST is an acronym that is often used to help write stories. All stories should have the following characteristics:


  • Independent - stories should be independent of each other, because dependency between stories makes planning, prioritizing, estimating difficult.
  • Negotiable - flexible to negotiate, not viewed with the rigour of a contract.
  • Valuable - has real value to the customer, user.
  • Estimable - Can be well estimated, sufficiently small in size and negotiable.
  • Small/Short - Small enough, ideally to fit into one iteration.
  • Testable - They are well testable and we know how to test them.


The formulation of user stories is at the heart of agile development, which is why we believe it is important to provide tailored mentoring from them to the members of agile teams as part of our work.


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