Agile Requirements with User Stories (1 day)

Agile Requirements Management: Developing, Using and Estimating Agile User Stories (1 day)


All agile methods are empirical in nature – they seek out validation and feedback as early, regularly and with as much fidelity as possible. This means requirements must be structured as increments of functionality which can be integrated, demonstrated and potentially released early and often. User Stories are the preferred practice for delivering these incremental requirements in a user centric, value focused way. Without well defined user stories,  teams will struggle to realize the full benefits of agile.

But learning to develop, estimate and prioritise good user stories for all but the most trivial real world applications is not easy. In this one day course we present some of the concepts underlying the use of user stories including ‘Late Elaboration’ and creating a shared ‘Collaboration Space’ to drive innovation. We cover the structure of user stories, acceptance criteria, their use in planning, ‘right-sizing’ them, estimation using story points, and value and risk based prioritization. We include several exercises where participants can practice creating good user stories, understand the differences between them and tradition requirements and  estimating them to enable reliable, consistent planning.


Target Audience

This course is targeted at Product Owners but can also be useful for ScrumMasters, Project Managers, Product Managers and senior Development Team members involved in defining or managing requirements.


Course Outline

  • Requirements development in Scrum
  • Defining your stakeholders and understanding their needs
  • The Product Vision
  • Exercise: Creating a Product Vision
  • From themes to epics and features to user stories and spikes – Late Elaboration for Agility
  • Exercise: Reverse engineering user stories
  • Defining Product Increments: Techniques for splitting stories
  • The INVEST criteria for user stories
  • Creating and refining the Product Backlog
  • Defining the ‘User’ – personas, roles
  • User stories and acceptance criteria with examples
  • Exercise: Defining Acceptance Criteria
  • Applying User Stories where there is no user and no story
  • Prioritisation of user stories and other elements of the product backlog – defining value and risk
  • Persevere or Pivot – using feedback to maximize value creation
  • User Story Mapping
  • Defining Product and Release scope – Minimal Marketable Feature Set/Minimum Viable Product
  • Relative Estimation, Story Points and Ideal Time
  • Joint Estimation – Planning Poker
  • Exercise: Relative Estimation using Planning Poker and Triangulation

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