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How to write effective user stories in agile development

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User stories are short, simple descriptions of a feature told from the perspective of the persona who desires the new capability, usually a user or a customer of the system. A user story tells a story about how someone uses the product to meet a specific goal or purpose.

User stories at its core is all about storytelling that allows a team the ability to connect with the user needs, goals and pain-points. It's a way to give users a voice when developing a software product and it encourages conversations to flow freely to leverage different perspectives to help drive creativity and innovation.

Equation of a user story
As a < type of a user>, I want so that < a reason for the feature>

Below are tips on how to write effective user stories for agile development:
Use a persona to discover the right story
Through the persona, capture your insights about the users and customers. A persona is a fictional character that is based on first-hand knowledge of the target group. It can be name, picture, etc. ask yourself what functionality the product should provide to meet the goal or purpose of the persona.

Prioritize on the users or customers
As its name suggests, a user story describes how a customer or user employs the product; it is told from the user’s perspective. The user stories are particularly helpful to capture a specific functionality such as searching for a product or making a booking. Carry out the necessary user research first for instance through interviewing the users. Otherwise you take the risk of writing speculative stories that are based on beliefs and ideas instead on empirical data or evidence.

Engage in conversations
User stories are intended as a lightweight that allows you to move fast. They are not specifications but a collaboration tool. Stories should never be handed off to the development team. Instead they should be embedded in a conversation. The product Owner and the development team should discuss the stories together. This allows you to capture only the minimum amount of information, reduce overhead and accelerate delivery.

Keep stories simple and concise
Your stories should be easy to understand. Keep them simple and concise. Avoid confusing and ambiguous terms and use active voice. Focus on what is important, and leave out the rest.

In conclusion, writing user stories is worthwhile when you develop software that is likely to be reused. But if you want to quickly create a throwaway prototype or mockup to validate an idea, then writing user stories may not be necessary. From www.trendpro.co.ke

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