User stories and modern software development are inextricably intertwined.  Visit any Scrum Team and chances are high that you’ll find user stories.  Okay…but have you asked your Scrum Team if they liked their user stories.  I’m willing to guess their answer would be “No.”

In this tune-up, we explain how Product Owners and Developers can utilize  user stories to co-create innovative, high-quality products.  We’ll show you how to create clear acceptance criteria that will improve both understanding and estimates as well as increasing customer satisfaction.  Finally, we’ll offer ideas on how to document non-functional requirements, spikes and other important technical work.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, user stories are here to stay

How We Transform Your User Stories in Three Steps

  1. Carlton schedules a Zoom call with key members of your Scrum Team to learn more about your Product Backlog, Definition of Done, existing user stories and process for capturing and updating your existing user stories.
  2. Carlton will then design a custom user story workshop for you and your Scrum Team based on the feedback you provided him during your call.
  3. Next, he will facilitate your custom user story workshop for your Scrum Team.
    • In the first part of the workshop, Carlton will review fundamental concepts about user stories, pinpoint specific areas for improvement identified in your call and answer any questions.
    • In the second part, Carlton will work with your Scrum Team to show you how to improve existing user stories, estimate user stories and create new user stories.
    • At the conclusion of the workshop, Carlton will conduct a short retro of the experience and schedule any follow-up, if needed.

This tune-up is perfect for:

  • Developers, Product Owners and ScrumMasters who disagree on how much detail should be included in a user story and its acceptance criteria.
  • Developers who are tired of incomplete user stories, vague acceptance criteria and being forced to write everything little thing they do as a user story.
  • Product Owners frustrated by simplistic templates (like “As a user… I want…”) that do not reflect the complexity of their business domain.
  • ScrumMasters who recognize an opportunity to improve Scrum Team collaboration, prioritization and customer satisfaction with better user story practices, but don’t know how to get there.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Practice writing user stories with clear acceptance criteria.
  • Demonstrate how to split large user stories into smaller, valuable user stories achievable within a single Sprint.
  • Explain when user stories are a good choice for a Scrum Team and when user stories can be left behind.

At the conclusion of this tune-up, your Scrum Team will be able to write better user stories and acceptance criteria, much more quickly and with much less disagreement.  That sounds like a win to me!