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Software developers regularly need feedback about the quality of their products, so they can fix any problems with them. To get this vital information, you must use a user story template. By including essential pieces of information about a story during the writing process, you can create user stories that help you improve the product or service.

What is a user story template?

A user story template is one of the most common units of work in agile development. It is not a feature that you can easily express from your perspective as a software user. A user story is usually informal in nature and provides a brief explanation of a potential software feature.

The purpose of an agile user story template is to provide a structure for communicating how a piece of work will deliver value to your customer. Here, customers might not be external end-users in a traditional sense. They can also refer to colleagues or internal customers who rely on your team.

User stories are short descriptions of features written in simple language that indicate the desired outcome without going into details. The requirements are added later when the other team members agree that they are necessary.

User stories can be useful in Agile frameworks like Kanban and Scrum. In Kanban, teams pull stories out of their backlogs and work them through their workflow. In Scrum, you add stories to a sprint and then “burn down” the total story points over the duration of the sprint.

User stories help Scrum teams become better at sprint planning and estimation, which can lead to greater agility and more accurate forecasting. For Kanban teams, user stories help you learn how to handle work-in-progress, which in turn helps improve workflow.

This document is a component of larger frameworks such as initiatives and epics. Epics are high-level product requirements that you break down into a set of stories. Several epics comprise initiatives. These bigger structures ensure that the day-to-day work your team does will contribute to your organization’s overall goals.

User Story Samples

What are user stories and why do they matter?

If you have already worked with Agile frameworks, you should know that both Kanban and Scrum teams benefit from writing sample user stories. In Kanban, you accumulate a list of stories in a backlog then run them one-by-one to support the flow of work.

Team members in scrum can use the user story template to prioritize and plan sprints, making estimations to stay flexible and agile when there are any changes. This becomes more advantageous when working with startups, as you may have limited resources before pitching the project to investors.

The following are other benefits of using a user story format:

◉ Creates a focus on the value of your business. It helps make your creation both effective and useful to end-users.
◉ The limited information contained in the document allows your team members to be more creative as they seek a solution.
◉ It will be easier to work with your project since it is organized into smaller, more manageable tasks.
◉ They also inspire your team, since each developer loves the feeling of making progress, which motivates him or her to work harder.

Examples of User Stories

What is the best way to write a user story template?

The product owner, in an agile organization, should take the main responsibility for writing an agile user story template then organizing these on the product backlog. In the real world, creating the user story template is a shared responsibility among team members.

The following steps show how to create your own user story format:

Determine what it should look like when it’s completed

Most of the time, a user story describes the end-state. This is the moment when the user achieves the goal or completes a task. When writing your user story, keep the end-state in mind so that the rest of your team will know when they can mark their development work as “completed.”

Document the subtasks and tasks associated with the project

User stories should not only contain a standard statement but also the necessary details for the developers to accomplish the work in the story. This includes outlining the subtasks and tasks, assigning them to the appropriate people, and following up on the status of each.

Create the stories as small, ordered steps

From the concept of user story, we can think of our whole product as a series of jobs or tasks that our product helps our users complete. When you are working on a bigger scale process or a more detailed set of product functionalities, it is a good idea to write each step as an individual story.

Ask for user feedback

Asking customers and users what they want can help you ensure that you are allocating resources to development work that resonates with your market. After gathering feedback and analyzing it, you should start crafting your user stories.

Draft stories you can finish in a single sprint.

User stories that are longer than one sprint should be broken into smaller stories. It is important to give the team a sense of completion after every sprint, as this allows them to work on new functionality. It also allows you to more quickly push out new functionality into the market.

User Story Templates

How do you write a user story in Agile development?

Although many people have different opinions on how a user story template should be created and defined, there are several common elements. The following tips can help you write good sample user stories:

◉ It must be a business user who provides the requirements.
◉ The initial draft of the proposal should include a list of the “what, why, and who” but not the “how.”
◉ The vertical slice must create a working code.
◉ It should be small enough to code and test in a single iteration.

There are various techniques, acronyms, and templates available online when writing user story templates in Microsoft Word. The most common techniques are:

Role-Feature-Reason

When using this method, several variations exist for writing user stories, but having a short sentence structure keeps the focus on the what, why, and who. This prevents you from detailing how your development team must implement the solution. By identifying the what, why and who of a problem, your team will feel empowered to search for the best solution.

The Three C’s (Card, Conversation, Confirmation)

The Three C’s method can be used to help your business and technical teams reach an agreement on the meaning of your user story. Your team can use the Three Cs as a guide in writing a story, moving from a short statement to a fully developed story.

Invest

This acronym helps you evaluate whether or not you have a high-quality user story.

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