Dear all,

My apologies I am late this week. Projects taking more time than originally planned. You’ve probably been there…

On my subject for the weekend: Working with multiple teams, I get to look at a reasonable number of backlogs. Everybody refers to their content as “User Stories”. Surprisingly little of the content bears any resemblance with what I teach my students on the subject though.

When I ask why, I hear all kinds of explanations: from “we do not need to write them up that way, everybody in the team knows what’s meant anyway”, “the user story format is so repetitive and limiting”, “too much overhead writing requirements in that format”, and maybe – with a bit more merit – “we are doing tech infrastructure, there is no user”.

While I have admittedly been pretty skeptical about the user story format myself when I started working with Agile, I am meanwhile convinced that there is no simpler way to express and discuss any requirement that involves humans. WHO, WHAT, and WHY. That’s all it takes. Definitively worth (re-)considering. (“Technical stories” are indeed a bit more of a complex subject and may be a topic for another weekend.)

As a starter here are three 3 reads on user stories that I find useful:


Roman Pichler’s “how to” covers all the important bases (including an idea for dealing with purely technical requirements)
Click to view!

5 ways to get the most out of your user stories

Tia Peterson’s article provides more context and also explains how user stories can be useful beyond software development
Click to view!

User Story Examples – 

by the US General Services Administration. Examples from Epics to acceptance criteria. Solid reference material.

Click to view!

I need to lend my wife a hand with pots and plants on our balcony now.

Have a sunny rest of the weekend!