How to Write an Effective User Story

The Basics of User Stories

User Story : User stories are a great way to prototype or test ideas before fully developing them. They are also an effective way to communicate your product to other stakeholders and to directly involve customers in the product development process. When writing user stories, you should keep the following key points in mind:

Crafting user stories is a key component for successful product development. When done effectively, user stories provide a structured way to capture customer requirements and project progress, resulting in better products that are more satisfied with customers. In this guide, we’ll discuss the steps needed to create an effective user story.

User Story
User Story

user stories should have a clear structure that preserves focus on what users need to do and not on how they are doing it. This structure helps users understand the product from a user perspective and keeps them engaged throughout the story arc. After taking the time to write good user stories, it is easy to break this important structure by presenting too much information at once or trying to fill in details that are not necessary for the story.

2. Concisely Communicate What Users Need

When creating a user story, it is important to succinctly articulate what users need in order to achieve the goal of the story. Users should know exactly what they need to do in order to complete the task at hand. This allows you to get feedback early on while still preserving user confidentiality.

3. Involve Customers Early In The Process

Frequent customer feedback is essential for maintaining a high quality product and ensuring that your users understand and enjoy your product. Involving customers as early as possible in the development process will ensure that you get feedback that is relevant and actionable. WithEOntality’s customer success engineering platform makes it easy for you to collect customer feedback during various stages of product development.

4. Why use user story?

User stories are an excellent way to get feedback from your users during development. They help you gather specific information about how people are using your product or service. This information can help you make improvements in your product or service before it even goes live. User stories also help you build a rapport with your users and learn what they like and don’t like about your product.

5. How should you structure a user story ?

The structure of a user story should be easy to follow. Every step in the story should have a specific objective, and all requirements should be spelled out clearly. The steps in the story should also be sequential, so that you can track progress as the project progresses. Finally, each step in the story should include specified details about what the user requires in order to solve the problem.

Understand the Goal of User Story.

Before getting into the specifics of writing effective user stories, it’s important to understand why they are created. User stories provide your development team with an understanding of what they are working towards and why, as well as an accurate picture of customer needs. Understanding the goal behind user stories will help you write ones that effectively capture customer requirements.

Use an Agile Methodology to Break Down Problems.

The goal of user stories is to break down customer problems into small, actionable tasks. To do this, use an agile methodology that focuses on iterative, user-centered solutions. This can help you identify individual user tasks, prioritize them according to their value and importance, and construct stories that are meaningful and useful to your development team.

Write Clear and Concise User Story with Well-Defined Actions.

While writing user stories, it helps to specify the action that users should complete. This includes specifying what they will achieve by performing the action and how they will interact with the product’s feature. Well-defined user stories make it much easier for developers and designers to understand what customers are trying to accomplish. They also help create a strong connection between customer problems and solutions, allowing teams to quickly develop strategic solutions for product features.

Create Prioritized User Story That are Time-Stamped and Measurable.

To ensure user stories meet customer needs, prioritize them based on the amount of value they provide. When prioritizing stories, be sure to consider impact, complexity, and duration. By time-stamping user stories and tracking progress with measurable milestones, you can quickly determine which stories have been completed and what remains to be done. This enables your team to allocate resources more efficiently and avoid unnecessary re-work down the road.

Concentrate on Benefits Instead of Features in User Story.

A good user story focuses on the benefits that the product provides to customers rather than its features. For example, instead of writing a story about the ‘ability to add items to a shopping cart’, focus on how this feature affects a customer and communicates how it adds value or convenience. Phrasing your user stories around what benefits users can receive helps streamline product development and ensures that stories stay focused on customer needs.

Below articles also can help you to understand more on user stories.

  1. What is User Story in Agile and Why You Need One in Agile
  2. Agile for Business Analyst Agile Skills Should Have

Invest User Story Examples

Let us observe some Invest User Story Examples in this article, User stories are a way to describe a feature in terms that users will understand. They’re also a great way to communicate the value of a new feature to stakeholders.

Invest User Story Examples
Invest User Story Examples

Why User Stories Are Important

A user story is a short description of what a user does when interacting with a particular piece of software. It’s usually written as a sentence or two describing the steps involved in completing a task.

The Three Types of User Stories

There are three different types of user stories: use cases, acceptance criteria, and user journeys. Each type has its own purpose and should be used appropriately.

Use Cases: These are the most common type of user story. They describe a scenario where a user interacts with a system. Use cases are often used by developers to explain how a new feature will work.

Acceptance Criteria: This type of user story describes a set of requirements that must be met before a feature can be released. Acceptance criteria are typically used by project managers to ensure that features meet business needs.

User Journeys: These are more complex than other types of user stories because they focus on the entire customer journey. They help teams understand how users interact with products and services.

Writing User Stories

A user story is a short description of what a user does when interacting with a product or service. It’s also known as a “user story.”

A user story is a short narrative describing a particular interaction between a user and a product or service. In other words, it’s a brief description of what a user would do if he or she were using a product or service.

Using User Stories to Plan Product Development

User stories are used by product managers to plan product development. They help teams understand the needs of users and prioritize features based on those needs.

User stories are written narratives that describe a typical use case for a feature. They provide a clear picture of what a user will do when interacting with a product.

How to Write Good User Stories

A good user story should answer three questions: What does the user need? Why does he/she need it? And finally, how will the user benefit from using it?

User story examples are great ways to demonstrate how user stories should be written. These examples show what a good user story looks like and how they can be applied to real-world situations.

  1. A user story is a short description of a specific task performed by a person using a product.

A user story example would look something like this:

As a, I want so that I can.

The first sentence describes who does the action (the role), what they do (the goal) and why they need to perform the action (benefits).

  1. User stories are written in plain English and use simple language.

They are not technical jargon or overly complex sentences.

  1. Use verbs to describe actions.

Use active voice rather than passive voice.

  1. Include details about the context of the situation.

Describe the environment where the user story takes place.

  1. Be concise.

Keep your user story under 100 words.

  1. Write user stories for both internal and external users.

User Stories are a way of describing how users interact with software. A user story describes a specific task or goal that a user wants to accomplish using a product. User stories are written in plain English and should not use technical jargon.

Here are some examples of user stories:

As a teacher I want to be able to easily create lessons and assign them to students.

As a student I want to be able view my assignments and grades without logging in.

As a parent I want to be able track my child’s progress at school.

As a teacher I am looking for a tool to help me manage my class schedule.

As a teacher we need to have access to our lesson plans.

As a teacher, I want to be able find out what my students did wrong on their homework assignment.

As a teacher my students need to be able to submit assignments online.

As a teacher i want to be able to share information about upcoming events with my students.

As a teacher the system should allow teachers to collaborate with each other.

As a teacher there should be a way to communicate with parents via email.

As a teacher students should be able to access their gradebook online.

As a parent, I want to be notified when my child gets home safely after school.

You may go through the below articles to know more about Invest User Story Examples.

  1. What is Agile User Story Acceptance Criteria ?
  2. User Story Examples and User Stories
  3. How to write user stories effectively in Agile?
  4. How to Write Acceptance Criteria ?


What is INVEST in user story?

INVEST principle of User stories is acronym for User stories being Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small and Testable. Independent:User stories should be independent. Team should be able to choose User stories in the backlog to work on in any order

How do you write a good user story investing?

Under the INVEST criteria, good user stories are:

  1. Independent.
  2. Negotiable.
  3. Valuable.
  4. Estimable.
  5. Small.
  6. Testable.

What is an example of a good user story?

For example, user stories might look like: As Max, I want to invite my friends, so we can enjoy this service together. As Sascha, I want to organize my work, so I can feel more in control. As a manager, I want to be able to understand my colleagues progress, so I can better report our sucess and failures.

What is INVEST technique in agile?

Agile INVEST is an acronym that helps Agile teams assess the quality of a user story. Teams can use INVEST as a guide to creating meaningful user stories — if the story does not meet one or more of the INVEST criteria in Agile, teams may consider rewording or even rewriting it altogether.

What is INVEST technique?

Bill Wake came up with the INVEST acronym to help us remember guidelines for writing effective user stories: Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimatable, Small, and Testable.

What are three elements of INVEST choose three?

INVEST is an acronym which encompasses the following concepts which make up a good user story:

  • Independent.
  • Negotiable.
  • Valuable.
  • Estimable.
  • Small.
  • Testable.

What are different types of user stories?

The three types:

  • User-Stories. A simple one or two-sentence statement from an end-user point of view about the product and its roles and abilities. …
  • Non-User Stories. A simple statement from a non-user perspective about internal tools and features that are needed to better serve and resolve a user story. …
  • Spikes.

What is INVEST and smart in agile?

INVEST are guidelines for quickly evaluating the quality of user stories. Also the acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-boxed) can be used for tasks resulting from the technical decomposition of user stories.

Which 3 elements should a user story have?

The three elements of the standard user story template address: Who wants the functionalityWhat it is they wantWhy they want it

Agile Methodology in Software Development Life Cycle

Agile Methodology in Software Development Life Cycle

Agile Methodology in Software Development Life Cycle

Now a day’s most of the companies are looking for Agile methodology because it is light weight and faster delivery. We can say if we not mentioned Agile methodology  in our resume we may not get calls from the interviewer also.Let us discuss what is Agile methodology and advantages

What are the differences between Waterfall and Agile Methodology?

What is Agile Methodology in Software Development Life Cycle

Minimum documentation

Agile Methodology is one of the methodologies under which we will develop a software/application in incremental base and deliver it in small chunks.

Scrum: Scrum is not a methodology, Scrum is a framework. That means it provides opportunity to work as per the project needs or requirements with cross functional team to reach the project goals.

Mostly it will use in implementation of projects.

Product Backlog :

Need to prepare the product backlog, it contains the list of user stories, user story is nothing but requirements.

Once we prepare the Product backlog, will prioritize the user stories which can be implemented in this Sprint.

Scrum Roles:

  1. Product Owner(PO) :He will decide what needs to done in this sprint/project and he is the responsible for managing the product backlog. He will be the responsible person for product like how product should be and all. He interacts with Business Analysts and Customers. This role may be played by BA or any person who is having strong knowledge on product and who works with end users for a long time. Depends on the project client also may play this role.
  • Scrum Master   (SM) : He will monitor the performance of the team within the sprint. Team will raise all their concerns and issues to scrum master. He is responsible to provide solutions to the team. He will interact with the stake holders to address the issues and concerns raised by the team. This role can be played by any person in team usually Business Analyst will play this role.


  • Development Team ( Cross functional team who are self organized)

Scrum Team : Resources who are working in this project are formed as Scrum team which comprises of  Business Analyst, Developers and Testers.

Sprint Zero:

In this phase all the stakeholders will join in meeting, and we have high level requirements in this phase.

Based on the requirements Product backlog will be created
Product backlog will have user stories (user stories means Requirements.).
Once Product backlog is prepared, there will be 3 activities performed
(a) along with core team – Scrum master will conduct story point estimation session. In this session team will discuss on prioritized requirements, how many man days needed and how to do and all.
(b) Team will prepare high level architecture document
(c) Release Planning

Sprint Planning

Sprint : Sprint is nothing more than that set period of a time to complete the prioritized requirements, usually sprint duration is two weeks. It may vary based on the product and project. Usually for banking project they scheduled for 4 weeks.

Assigned work should be completed within the sprint and it should be ready for product owner to review the completed task.

Before development starts, team will do sprint planning. i.e how many sprints are required to complete the project? Which stories will go under which sprint?
Usually sprint duration will be ranging from 2-4 weeks maximum.
Sprint-1 starts
During sprint, we will take the user stories Design>> Develop>>Test>> Integrate
We will have ‘Show & Tell’ Session. Product owner will give his feedback in this session. If any rework to be done based on feedback, we will take those points and add it to next sprint. (these points to be updated in Product backlog as user stories)
Participants : Client, developers, testing team and Business Analyst.

Business Analyst will split the requirements and prepares the product backlog.

Will discuss with the client regarding backlog, then client will prioritize the requirements which we need to deliver on priority. So, team will first work on prioritized requirements only.

For example, out of ten requirements client prioritized 1,2 and 3.

So, in this sprint planning session we will discuss about 1,2 and 3 only even though we have 10 requirements in backlog.

Business analyst will write user stories; user story is nothing but requirement.

Will discuss about how much effort needed to complete this prioritized user stories.

Will use the JIRA tool to track the requirements.

Release Testing

Release testing is done by product owner. This is similar to UAT phase of Waterfall.
Product owner will test the functionality and ensure all the stories are covered. If any defects that will be taken care from core team

Sample BA Document Templates


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Release & Deploy/Go live/Implementation:

In the typical waterfall, we will have one release. In agile methodology project there can be multiple releases.
Releases are done based on the release planning. Release decision will be Product owner decision.
We can group sprints under release-1, release-2, release-3 based on the need and we implement as per release plan.

Support and Maintenance:

As per the alignment, there will be warranty of 6 months, 12 months , 2 years or more. Core team will support during this period and once warranty is done. Project will be closed.

Scrum Meetings


Daily Scrum Meeting: This happens every day where team will just discuss on 3 questions. Everyone should participate in this meeting, and meeting should be completed in 15 to 30 minutes.

  1. What you do today?
  2. What will you do tomorrow?
  3. Is there any impediments stopping you?

Sprint Review Meeting:

This will happen at the end of the sprint where team will give demo on completed stories to product owner.

Sprint retrospective Meeting: This will happen at the end of the sprint where team will answer these 3 questions.

  1. What went well in the sprint?
  2. What did not go well?
  3. What are the required areas of improvements in next sprint?
Scrum Meetings
Scrum Meetings

Business Analyst Role in Agile Methodology Scrum :

To start with, once a project kicked off, BA does the requirement planning, then conducts various requirement gathering sessions and analyses the requirement.

Then the requirement is listed as “Feature List” This feature list is drafted by Business Analyst and he will discuss with product owner. This feature list will have all enhancements and existing features.

From the Feature list, BA identifies the Epic and breaks them as Themes and then to User Stories.

User story

User Story will have below information:User Stories

         As a <user>

         I want to <What is the purpose>

         So that <What you gain by this story>

Ex :  As a customer

         I want to login to the net banking

         so that I can perform banking activities.

Acceptance Criteria:

This area will have mandatory information that is needed for this user story.

Then Business Analyst briefs the story to development team and regularly supports the team for development.

And Business Analyst also does the integration Testing and system testing to ensure the system performs as per requirement.

I hope this helped you to provide the overview of Agile Methodology

To  know more about Agile Methodology you can visit Agile Methodology official website.

Sample BA Document Templates


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Agile FAQS

What is agile and how it works?

Agile is a process that helps teams provide quick and unpredictable responses to the feedback they receive on their project. It creates opportunities to assess a project’s direction during the development cycle. Teams assess the project in regular meetings called sprints or iterations

What is the difference between Scrum and agile?

Difference Between Agile and ScrumAgile describes a set of guiding principles that uses iterative approach for software development, while Scrum is a specific set of rules that are to be followed while practicing the Agile software development.

What are the 12 Principles of Agile?

Satisfy the Customer. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
Welcome Change. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. …
Deliver Frequently. …
Work Together. …
Build Projects. …
Face-To-Face Time. …
Measure of Progress. …
Sustainable Development.

What are the 4 values of agile?

individuals and interactions over processes and tools;
working software over comprehensive documentation;
customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and.
responding to change over following a plan.

What is agile tool?

Jira Software is an agile project management tool that supports any agile methodology, be it scrum, kanban, or your own unique flavor. From agile boards to reports, you can plan, track, and manage all your agile software development projects from a single tool

What is Agile SDLC?

Agile SDLC model is a combination of iterative and incremental process models with focus on process adaptability and customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of working software product. Agile Methods break the product into small incremental builds.

Why Agile is used?

and Why Do We Use It? Agile Methodology is a type of project management process. The agile method anticipates change and allows for much more flexibility than traditional methods. Clients can make small objective changes without huge amendments to the budget or schedule


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