The Use of User Stories

A user center project approach relies on the user and the business goals to design and develop cost effective solutions.

At the beginning of the project to gather all the requirements, is the key foundation where the solution will stand.

A project team will start working at this stage, we call this team “User Team”:

  1. The agency team: business analyst, developer and project manager
  2. The client team: real user, intended user, tester, designer and product manager

The purpose of gathering these people is to write user stories. Each user story contains a short description of user valued functionality called story card.

For instance a story card can be this: “A property seeker can view properties that match a post code look-up”.

Notice that this “card” is the visible part of a story, but the most valuable thing is the conversations between the agency and user teams.

The User Team then, is responsible to write the stories because they are the best to express the required functionality and also because they have to express these to the development team.

These stories must be written with details, but too much detail can affect the approach to develop the story. One approach is to write a test cases in the back of the story so the developer will know the criteria to accept the functionality described.

For instance a test case can be this: “A valid post code will be a 6 digit code – AB1CD2”.

How to write the stories:

  1. To clearly identify these stories, start by considering the goals of each user using the solution.
  2. Write short stories for the functionality the team will develop soon, and write high level stories considered in future project phases.
  3. Include the user role in the story, e.g. content administrator, system administrator, frontend user and so on.

Once the stories are completed, the team will estimate the development length of each story, prioritise these and then prepare a release plan.

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