How does one create a user story as used in Agile methodologies? How should they be written; is there a standard?


Mike Cohn provides a great template for user stories which is used throughout the industry.

As a type of user, I want some goal so that some reason.

  • As a customer, I want to pay my bill online so that I do not have to mail it in.
  • As a developer, I want unit tests in place so that I can verify my code is functional.
  • As an enterprise card holder, I want the ability to add sub-accounts so that I do not need separate accounts for my employees.
  • 1
    Might note that long after this answer I continued researching the topic, and the shortest version of the user story template I found was: "Who needs what, and why?"
    – blunders
    Aug 19 '12 at 1:50
  • 2
    A lesson learned from the process of extracting these from Product Manager and stakeholders is that the there's usually a temptation to omit the 'why' part (presumably because it requires some thinking) and just describe '"Who needs what". The problem with this is that the 'why' is often the most important part of the equation in order to make the best design decisions.
    – dennislees
    Jun 7 '17 at 13:08

In the book "Writing Effective Use Cases (Crystal Series for Software Development) from Alistair Cockburn" are some good use case technics and scenarios described. His text-based use case method is very efficient and fast.

In addition, I have another link to this topic: http://gatherspace.com/static/use_case_example.html

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