User story in Agile.

In agile the requirements are broken down into user story i.e. in smaller chunks. User story is vital and the first process in part of Agile methodology. A good user story can convey a good understanding to developer and team about requirements. However a incomplete user story can lead to wrong end results.

A good user story should have a standard format and should include 3 elements: Roles, functions and reason.

As a (Role)
I Want (What)
So That (Why, reason, Benefit)

Let’s see what happens if any of the element is missing in a user story.


Assume you are manufacturer and Client requirement is to build a chair for employees.

Now, assume the order is taken without noting down the specifications. In this case the result can be little weird:

Outcome of 1st scenario

This is also a chair and can be used for sitting. Client can use these chairs in their office for relaxation purpose or for recreational zones.  

However: Is this the chair required by Client for his/her employee?

Lets find out why the outcome didn’t match with Client expectations:

In this example,client mentioned first two elements of user story only:

 (Role) which is employees and (What) product i.e Chair
but (Why, reason, Benefit) was not mentioned, which made a user story or requirement incomplete.

I need a chair for my employee is a vague requirement. So,to avoid these kind of confusions are requirements should be simple, straightforward and detail oriented.

Secondly, requirement was too big, should be broken into smaller units. These smaller units takes the shape of user stories.

Scenario 2:

Now for the same product requirements would have been specified then the outcome would have been more appropriate.

Like: I need a chair for my employee with these specifications:

  1. Black in colour.
  2. Should be made of high-quality material, could be metal and plastic.
  3. Should have more than 2 wheels to balance and slide.
  4. Should have arms and back.
  5. Should be able to adjust the height of chair.
  6. Should be able to take maximum … weight.
  7. Should have comfortable cushion to sit over.
  8. Should have lumbar to support.
  9. Should have …. Width for back or cushion.
Outcome for 2nd scenario

Who writes the user stories?

I would say, this depends on company to company in IT. If company wants someone to be accountable, then the user story creation can be given to some specific roles who deal with clients on requirements directly. He/she could be consultant, Business analyst, project manager or Product owner.

However as per Scrum method, the user story can be written by anyone, but the responsibility lies with product owner.

When do we write user stories?

User stories are created /written throughout the project Lifecyle. If any changes need to be added, the existing user story can be updated based on feature flexibility or a new user story can be added in Product backlog and then sprints.

Let me present characteristics of a good user story in form of mind map:

Characteristics of a good user story

Please zoom in your browser size for better visibility.

I hope you will like this post. Stay tuned for more posts on my learnings and knowledge.

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It's been 10 years,I have been employed as a professional Lead Quality Assurance Engineer and Promoted to take additional responsibilities as Test Manager. Participated in various Testing competitions like Testathon, India testing league, Bugathon. Contributed to community by sharing knowledge on Salesforce platform as Speaker in Unicom event. I have tested a number of existing software products to determine if they were working properly, had been configured correctly, and were as good as they could be. Apart from these Professional activities I am very much interested in creative and different stuff. For me Success is Passion + Enthusiasm. If I am interested in something then I will do it until I get success.

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