As the name suggests, user stories are a description of the requirements and needs of the users in an Agile Software Development. The user story is a high-level definition of the requirements put together in minimum words sufficient enough for the developers to make a quick but reasonable estimate of the efforts required in order to meet the requirements of the user case. It usually consists of one or more sentences that convey what the user of a system or the end user does or is required to as part of his everyday job. User stories can also be said to be a reminder to conduct a just-in-time-analysis that might prove helpful.
Some Considerations While Writing a User Story
As the user story is quite short but highly definitive so it needs to be written with extreme caution to convey the correct message. Here are some considerations you need to keep in mind while writing it:
• Only stakeholders can write user stories
Writing user stories is not a very complex task so they are mostly written by the domain experts who are the stakeholders and not the developers.
• Using simplest tools is beneficial
The user story needs to be written using the simplest tools such as index cards so that they are easy to work with and become an inclusive modeling technique.
• Nonfunctional requirements also need to be kept in mind
A user story has a variety of requirements so it is mandatory to include all kinds of requirements in it whether they are functional or nonfunctional.
• Indication of the Estimated Size
It is important to indicate the estimated size in your user story as it will help the developer have a more precise idea of how much efforts and time would be required to implement the concerned story.
• Indication of Priorities
It is important to set your priorities right while implementing a user story. The stakeholders usually indicate their priorities in a user story. The priorities can easily be distinguished on a scale of highest to lowest so that developers know what to go for first. The priorities are also likely to change over time but that is not a negative aspect as it helps motivate teams to work in an entirely different direction at any point.
• You can also include a unique identifier
It is also advisable to include a unique identifier in most user stories as it helps in traceability between user stories and other artifacts.
User stories are essential elements of the Agile Software Development as it affects the planning phase of teams as well as are functional throughout the different phases of the lifecycle of an Agile Community. It can have an impact on different levels of planning like scheduling or estimating depending on the priorities and size of a user story. Similarly, its impact can easily be noticed on the different phases of an Agile Life Cycle especially the three main phases where the user story makes a change are the inception phase, the construction phase as well as the transition phase.