Advanced Agile User Stories

Download PDFSlicing agile user stories down to fit into sprints is a key component of agile. The user stories are intended to be small and at the same time they should provide just enough and just in time requirements. Without the correct level of acceptance criteria, agile teams may find themselves building things fast, but not necessarily building the right things. Teams often struggle with these agile concepts and ways of identifying the necessary requirements while still adhering to lean documentation.

This class is intended for an agile team to improve their user stories relating to prioritization, estimation, splitting stories, organizing, and making sure that they are refined and ready for the development sprints. This includes breaking them down from epic to feature to stories and eliciting the acceptance criteria.

Participants should bring their initiative or epic to break down into user stories or they can use a case study provided.

Learning Objectives

  • Provide practical tools and techniques to ensure your user stories meet the characteristics of INVEST
  • Utilize the core component analysis approach to ensure that a cohesive set of user stories exist
  • Take user stories from their raw state to refine them into a ready state
  • Understand the capturing of acceptance criteria; examples and scenarios
  • Identify how to triage change requests and determine where they fit in the backlog
  • Review and create traceability of stories to their features and to their initiative or epic to ensure that the context of the project is defined
  • Define and assign business value to prioritize and help manage minimal viable product discussions

Course Outline

Basic and Advance User Story Characteristics2.5 hours

  • Review when and how stories are used
  • Understand the Card, Conversation and Confirmation
  • Apply the INVEST characteristics
  • Identify personas
  • Level-set the progress elaboration and stages of the user story
  • Understand the significance of acceptance criteria
  • Identify the significance of Examples/Scenario/Events
  • Identify the significance of validation with the 3 Amigos
  • Workshop: Mock user story workshop using the story worksheet

Common Challenges related to User Stories2 hours

  • Understand how user stories that are raw/rough impact your sprint
  • Discuss user stories versus tasks
  • Practice how to build user stories from legacy documentation
  • Practice how to document user stories for team members off shore
  • Understand the impact of a single user point of view
  • Identify when to use dependencies and themes
  • Review why refactoring is a good thing
  • Workshop: Critique bad user stories and provide solutions

Taking User Stories to the Next Level2.5 hours

  • Identify the key criteria for the definition of ready and done
  • Create example (Given, When, Then) matrixes
  • Use models to help slice stories
  • Explore 21 ways to slice a story
  • Good and bad ways to slice a user story
  • Workshop: Mock workshop on slicing stories

Assigning Points and Business Value to User Stories2.5 hours

  • Define key acceptance criteria to enhance relative sizing
  • Assess business value assessment using acceptance criteria
  • Provide traceability of business value to features and initiatives
  • Workshop:
    • Walk through a mock Scrum/planning case study
    • Understand what is just enough information and what’s too much too soon

Other Types of User Stories and Work Products2.5 hours

  • Create technical and infrastructure stories
  • Create non-functional stories
  • Create stories for reports
  • Create stories for an interface
  • Create stories for transition requirements

Finalizing User Stories and Sprint Planning1.5 hours

  • Know when a story is ready
  • What is just enough versus design details
  • Triaging new stories and change request
  • Exercise: Determine the impact of stories that are not ready during planning and during the design

Course Summary.5 hours

  • Develop an action plan with next steps on the student’s current project


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agile user stories
Request Onsite
Length 2 days
Intended Audience

This class is intended for an agile team to improve their user stories relating to prioritization, estimation, splitting stories, organizing, and making sure that they are refined and ready for the development sprints.

Prerequisites We recommend participants have attended our Agile Analysis Boot Camp course or have equivalent agile experience or training.

Course List

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