Best Scrum User Stories
A Scrum user story definition is quite simple. A user story is actually a wish of a certain user that reflects his opinion on the necessary features of the final product. The user stories can be different. Scrum provides the users an ability to express any opinion on the future product.
Processing the user stories is an important activity of the Scrum team. Usually the Product Owner is responsible for it. He is the person who gathers and writes down the user stories. After that the stories go to the product backlog. The product backlog of every Scrum project is formed entirely of user stories.
As the stories are gathered and included into the product backlog; they should be prioritized. The criterion for prioritization is simple. If the user story is detailed and provides lots of information on the user’s wishes about the final product, it is prioritized higher than the rest of the stories. A user story can also be prioritized high if it is connected to some problems of the project. After all the user stories are prioritized in the product backlog, they are divided into smaller groups and become parts of the sprint backlogs. The amount of user stories in the product backlog and their prioritization may be changed in the process of project performance. Usually the intermediate results of the project (the sprint results) that are tested among the users impact them strongly. Reprioritization of the user stories in the product backlog may take place after the completion of each sprint.
All the stories are written in accordance with the special user story template. It includes only the main things about the user and his wishes. Usually the user story includes information about the software that is used, the user’s wishes on the things he needs to perform with the help of it, and his vision of his action final result.
There are many user story examples, but we will introduce you only one of them.
A typical user story looks as following:
I, the user of a TV-set,
want to control my TV from distance,
to switch the channels without leaving my sofa.
After the story is written down by the Product Owner, it must be estimated in accordance with a certain list of acceptance criteria. The acceptance test is based on simple criteria that are aimed at the confirmation or refutation of the ability to implement the user’s wishes into the final product. For example, in our case the fulfillment of the user’s requirements is available only if his TV-set is turned on, but if he says that he wants to control a turned off TV-set remotely, this requirement is unrealistic and it cannot be fulfilled.
Sometimes the user stories placed in the product backlog may include non-functional requirements. It means that they cannot be fulfilled. However, it is necessary to include them into the project backlog so the Scrum team could compare them to other user stories and make a conclusion on the products functionality.
As we can see, the use of user stories in the process of Scrum software development has its benefits and disadvantages. However, it is one of the basic principles of the Scrum methodology and it works very well in the Scrum teams all over the world.