Effective User Stories
Learn story mapping, build from user story examples, apply user story templates to agile epics and scrum epics, and decompose technology work into a user story format that gets the right product created for the end user.
User stories are about how we use them, not how we write them. They tell the story of what a user needs, and enable mapping those stories to the creation of systems and products that delight the user.
This hands-on course is full of user story examples, story mapping applications, and guidance on how to apply user story mapping to enterprise use cases. In this class you’ll learn user story mapping and templates for decomposing agile epics, applying scrum practices to epics with user stories, and writing user stories in a format that can be applied in practical ways for both an agile practice or a blend of conventional software product development with agile or scrum teams. You’ll leave this course with user story examples, user story templates, and how you should be writing user stories to achieve optimal outcomes at the end of every sprint.
Don't think of user stories as a way of writing requirements. Applying user stories entails a different way of working altogether. An effective user story in agile (or otherwise) will encourage collaborative, emergent thinking and communication through conversation within a team.
In this workshop, you will explore the most popular techniques for agile story pointing, writing, gathering & splitting user stories, and how to use personas to ensure customer-centric thinking and hone team skills to perform tasks effectively.
Duration2 days/16 hours of instruction
2 Leadership PDUs
2 Strategy PDUs
10 Technical PDUs
10 ACP PDUs
10 PBA PDUs
Public Classroom Pricing
GSA Price: $1185
Group Rate: $1195
Private Group Pricing
Have a group of 5 or more students? Request special pricing for private group training today.
Download the Course Brochure
Part 1: Agile Review in Five Minutes
- User stories in agile practices
- Value proposition canvas
- Product innovation lifecycle
Part 2: User Stories then, User Stories now
- The user story relationship to business analysis and agility
- Why a well-written story is beneficial
- Traditional analyst and requirements activities translated to agility
- Differences in alignment to an agile practice
Part 3: User Story Overview
- The concept of stories and their formatting
- Roles involved at different levels of story planning and creating stories
- Different techniques of writing stories
- Benefits of well written stories
- Acceptance Criteria best practices
- INVEST overview
Part 4: User Personas
- Understanding User Personas
- User stories and Personas- 3C’s
- Benefits of personas
- Using your roadmap for creating personas
- Aligning user personas with stories
Team Exercise: Teams will practice writing stories using the Roles identified from the User Persona exercise. As a group, acceptance criteria will be written, simulating a backlog grooming session.
- Using User Personas inside a story
- Determining user experience
Team Exercise: Teams will create User Personas to understand the concept and identify details that make them unique
- Identifying roles
- Other types of backlog items
- What is a spike?
- How to use them
- Non-functional (tech debt)
- What is a non-functional requirement (NFR)?
- How to use them
- Defects and their management
Team Exercise: Individually the group will write an example of a Spike, Non-Functional requirement, and a Defect. Focusing on what makes them unique and how best to document the details for development.
Part 5: Levels of Planning
- Creating Definition of Ready and Definition of Done
- Story Mapping
- Estimation and story sizing (story Points / T-shirt sizing)
- Backlog Management
- Planning/ Review / Retrospective
Team Exercise: Teams will create a list of features, focusing on the evolution of an application and ways in which to build upon a feature over time.
- Product Backlog
- Prioritization techniques
- Story slicing, splitting
Part 6: Getting hands-on: User stories in practice
During this workshop section of the course, the group will spend time practicing application of user stories as they will back at work after class. Workshop participants will critique stories that have been given to them, learning what to look for when grooming stories (size, unclear, dependencies).
- Building a Comprehensive Release Plan and Backlog
- Process Mapping
- Impact mapping
- Story Mapping
Team Exercise: Teams will create Epics for the features identified in the previous exercise, focusing on how to break down the work into valuable slices.
Team Exercise: The group will be given a sample process map, they will break the process into stories that remain independent and valuable, even if the value varies.
Team Exercise: Teams will write stories that relate to the Epics written in the previous exercise. Focusing on the INVEST strategy of story writing and using group feedback to further refine.
Part 7: Prep and Support of Sprints
- Story Writing Sessions
- Backlog Grooming
- Relative Sizing
- Acceptance test-driven development (A-TTD)
- Behavior-driven development (BDD)
- Story Preparation Kanban
- Backlog Prioritization
- Release Planning
Part 8: Application Workshop
Team Exercise: Individually, the group will get to focus on real-world examples, getting feedback from the group intermittently, similar to a series of grooming sessions. Ideally bringing these stories back to their own projects.
Part 9: Retrospective
- Handling and Adjusting to Team Feedback
- Educating Others
This course is beneficial to all members on an Agile team, but will add the most value for those in a Product Owner role or are a part of the development team with a focus on grooming the product backlog. This course benefits:
- Business Analysts, Requirements Analysts or Business Systems Analysts
- Product Owners, Business customers, users or partners
- QA Professionals, Systems Testers or User Acceptance Testers
- Systems/Application Analysts, Architects, Designers or Developers
- Anyone that wants to enhance their understanding and ability to author and elaborate on user stories
- Learn how to adapt quickly and positively to rapidly changing business needs and priorities
- Learn how to collaborate on requirements for a project
- Align development to business needs to provide business value quickly
- Learn the benefits of using Agile methods to communicate requirements
- Understand the five levels of planning in Agile
- Use agile requirements as an effective basis for planning and testing
- Understand the characteristics of a well-written agile requirement
- Understand how to plan frequent releases so that customers can recognize benefit quickly
- Learn mapping techniques for identifying the stories of larger releases
- Minimize risks of ineffective solutions by obtaining frequent feedback