All About User Stories

All About User Stories

All About User Stories


We have seen in the earlier blog of elements of user stories where each user story is divided into following structure –

  • User story description
  • User story Acceptance Criteria 
  • User story definition of done (DOD)
  • Story Points

Reference URL –

Let us understand more in detail about user stories in the world of Agile. 

What is a User Story?: 

User Story is a tool in which requirements are captured in an easy-to-understand plain language and is written from the perspective of an end user. In Agile software development, user stories are used to express the requirements from an end user perspective. 

Format – As a < user >  I want to < perform an action > So that < I expect…. > 

For an on-line banking service – a user story will be – 

As a net banking customer, I want to add Payee in my account, so that I can transfer money to the added Payee’s account. 

Here user is Net Banking customer, Action is adding payee and result/expectation is able to transfer money to the added payee 

Best Practices of User stories: 

User stories, based on the estimated size [various planning tools and techniques are used for estimating user stories, usually referred as story points] and each user story is taken for implementation in an iterative mode, usually of 10 days each referred as Sprint cycle. 

User stories should be granular enough that they can be completed within an iteration and cannot be continued in the following iteration. If a story cannot be completed within an iteration, the same should be split logically. 

User stories are prioritized by the product owner based on business priority and are available at the top of the product backlog. 

Each user story should have Acceptance Criteria and Definition of Done (DOD). Both are distinct in nature and are not the same. 

Who writes User Stories?! 

As a practice, usually the Product Owner (PO) writes user stories as they are the ones who elicit/gather requirements from the stakeholders. However, in reality or in practice, any member of an Agile team may write user stories, though the overall responsibility is that of a Product Owner. 

Timing of writing User Stories

User stories are written throughout the lifecycle of the project. Basis the workshops conducted by Product Owner or basis of the Product roadmap or basis of the improvements identified in the existing product or services, user stories is elicited or explained or written linking to EPICS, Features and it is added to the product backlog. The Development team writes stories along with the product owner during this session and gets involved in the 3Cs. 

  • 3Cs-“Card” (Estimation), “Conversation” (Requirements) and “Confirmation” (Acceptance) is a model that captures the components of a user story. 
  • The requirements in agile software development are progressively elaborated and hence the need for writing user stories will arise throughout the project. 
  • The 3Cs of the user story generally unfold during the backlog grooming session when the dev team and the product owner discuss the stories that need to be groomed. 
Types of User Stories
  • Functional User Story – Covers details on the functionality required covering features which the customer/user will be testing at the end of an iteration based on the acceptance criteria defined for the story. 
  • Technical User Story – Technical stories are written to be able to support the functional stories. Technical stories are further classified as Infrastructure stories (Infrastructure related), Refactoring user stories (Technical debts stories) & Spikes. (Research stories). 
Importance of INVEST:

Every user story should have ‘INVEST’ meaning user story should be –  I=Independent, N=Negotiable, V=Valuable, E=Estimable, S=Small, T=Testable

Benefits of User Stories:

  • It enables the team to understand the requirements from a user perspective & focused to deliver value
  • Promotes Collaboration & enables progressive elaboration
  • Promotes 3Cs – Card, Conversation, Conformation 
  • User stories help the team to achieve smaller product increments
  • User stories are more understandable by all stakeholders (technical/non-technical/business/operations)
  • User stories help the team to implement features in smaller iterations ranging from one week to one-month durations
  • Promotes Transparency 
  • Defines Acceptance Criteria at Micro-level 
  • User stories helps to prioritize the product features by the stakeholders and also helps to take the right decisions at the right time

Get Certified in CSM/CSPO with ZOC Learnings:

With CSM or PSPO courses, professionals can enhance their career skills in agile project management. CSM certification at Zoc Learnings will help Scrum Masters to understand importance of User Stories, how to develop it and how to measure it. 



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