Scrum Agile Project Management

User Stories Traps and Tips

User stories are the foundations of the Scrum sprints as they would allow you to work on the right things. Charles Bradley provides a lot of interesting material about crafting good user stories in his Scrum Crazy blog. In a blog post he starts by discussing what a user story is and go right to the point is saying that a user story is NOT a “As a I want so that”. For him, a user story is more than this and should consist of three parts: 1) a written description or short title of the story used as a token for planning and as a reminder to have conversations, 2)conversations about the story that has the details of the story, 3)acceptance tests that that can be used to determine when a story is done.

In another post, he presents 12 user stories traps that he discusses in detail. Among those traps, he mentions the lack of clear acceptance tests, slicing stories incorrectly or Specifying too much implementation in stories. He has also created a small user story checklist:
1. Does the story describe new or changed functionality in the system under development?
2. Is the functionality primarily of value to a non development stakeholder?
3. Is there a fairly unique written description of the story?
4. Have conversations about the story, that clarify story details, taken place?
5. Does the story have acceptance tests that you can use to qualify if as done?