I have been writing user stories for more than a couple of years now. I am still learning and improving. And every story I write next – I try to improve it: Bring “value” to it. As a group manager of few online agile/scrum groups, I see many experienced people struggling to understand the concept of user stories.
I even met people who claim to have quite some experience writing user stories, but they go blank when you hand them a card and pen.
Concerning user stories few points need to be remembered:
1) They are from a “users” perspective – So PLEASE involve the customer/user of the system while writing (Better let THEM write if your org allows that)
2) A user story w/o acceptance criteria is like a human w/o spinal cord.
3) There’s NO such thing as a PERFECT story – the dev team with product owner and customer have to agree to say the story is GOOD to go and can be used by the development team for breaking down into tasks.
With all that said, which can be debated as EVERYONE has an opinion, I started putting together some knowledge base for user stories. If you can help contribute to these links, PLEASE feel free to comment on this post and allow point to valuable content related to user stories:
What are user stories? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_story
There’s a LOT of information out on the internet that can help you learn about user stories – if you’re a scrum alliance member, there are valuable reads on their site submitted by agile practitioners. But NOTHING can get you the experience unless u start writing them yourself.
So, what are you waiting for: Grab an index card, a pen (or go the digital way) and collaborate with your customer team, product owner, and developers to start writing – then scratch a few, negotiate, refine some more, scratch again and come up with a user story that is ready for your product backlog.
Disclaimer: The only idea regarding this post is a centralized page to reference valuable content on User stories. If you have pointers and suggestions, please feel free to comment.
05/13/2011: I got a GREAT read from Martin Fowler that needs to be added to this list: Conversational Stories. I am so delighted to share that I AM practicing this with my team as a Proxy PO!