What are the Best Practices for Agile User Stories?

The following template describes the best development practices for writing Agile User Stories.

The user story should include the following:

  1. Title
  2. As a [user role], I want to [goal], so I can [reason].
  3. Build the screen shots with the screen specifications per feature.  Identify the functionality and data requirements.
  4. Acceptance Criteria: Identify the test cases for both the success conditions and failure conditions for the user story.  

Sample User Story:

AGILE USER STORIES FOR SEARCH PRODUCTS

US 1-  As a customer, I want to search by product name, so I can see a list of products matching my search.

US 2-  As a customer, I want to select a product, so I can view the product details.

Build the screen shots with the screen specifications per feature or list the functionality required for the feature.  Identify the functionality and data requirements.

  1. On the product search page, display a Search field.
    • Execute search and return list of matching products.
    • On the product search page, click a product image or name to display the product details page.

Acceptance Criteria:  (Identify the test cases for both the success conditions and failure conditions for the user story.}

Success:

  1. US1
    • Search field is present
    • Search can be executed
    • Search can be edited
    • Search can be cleared
    • Search results be displayed
    • Customer will be able to navigate to product details
  2. US2
    • Display product image, name, availability and price
    • Click a product image or name to view the product details page

Failure:

  1. US1
    • Search field is disabled/not displayed
    • Search button not enabled
    • No matching search results (no data returned)
    • Image/name doesn’t link to a product details page
  2. US2
    • Product data not received

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By Joy MatthewsJoy Matthews on Google+

Joy Matthews is the cofounder and Vice President of Methodology Development and Training for Pierson Requirements Group, Inc. which was launched in 1990. She is an experienced Methodologist and Facilitator with expertise in UML, Data Techniques and the JAD/RAD process. She has trained over 1,500 consultants and more than 5,000 corporate IT professionals in the latest UML using the JAD/RAD process and facilitation techniques. Joy is an expert in best practices and industry standards and has helped numerous companies qualify to CMM level 3. She has been instrumental in improving the requirements management, design and testing processes at many large corporations. She has facilitated and managed projects for all phases of the system development life cycle. Joy is the co-author of Pierson’s repeatable development methodology and author of the Requirements Gathering and Facilitation classes and Testing classes. Joy has also developed a class for how to facilitate for Business Process Management.