User Stories | I.N.V.E.S.T.

The 6 Attributes Of Effective User Stories – INVEST
Kaizenko | Mar 08, 2016

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.

Independent: As much as possible, try to make sure that stories are not interdependent as this might lead to prioritization and planning problems. Independent is different from logical order of developing things. By independent, we mean story features. For example, let’s say we are supporting payment by credit card and we want to support payment by American Express, Mastercard and Visa. Well if we had a story for MasterCard and another for Visa, then the estimates will depend on which one we do first because implementing the other story will then be relatively straight forward. So we’d want to clarify and have one story represent “providing a primary payment option using VISA”. The other stories can then change to “provide a secondary payment option using American Express”.

Negotiable: A story should be brief. It is not a detailed contract. It’s purpose is to encourage ongoing conversation and scope negotiation between the customer and the developers.

Valuable: A story should provide value to the customer or the user. If a customer cannot think of a value statement, then perhaps we should de-prioritize the story or maybe the work is unnecessary, and we should eliminate it altogether.

Another reason to have a value statement is that value represents why we are building a certain feature. Presenting the team with the Why (value) and not just the What (feature) might trigger different ideas of alternate features that are easier or faster to develop and yet achieve the same goal and deliver the same business value.

Also, because a story is delivering a piece of functionality, the customer can figure out how much this functionality costs and then decide if they still need it.

Finally, remember that not all value is monetary. Mitigating risk is value. So is knowledge learning or acquisition.

Estimatable: Developers need to be able to estimate a story. It should be written in such a way that the developers can understand it and have an idea of how to implement it. Key factors for estimation are properly sized stories as well as domain knowledge and technical knowledge.

Small: Stories should be small.

Testable: Stories should be testable in order to help determine completeness. A story should have an acceptance criteria. The acceptance criteria should be objective. Avoid using criteria like easy to use, fast or bug free. Try to write criteria that can be measured and tested (ideally automated). For example, test that payment verification responds in 1 second or less at least 95% of the time.

Author = Fadi Stephan

URL = https://www.kaizenko.com/6-attributes-of-effective-user-stories-invest/

How to Write a Good User Story: with Examples & Templates

What is a User Story? User Story is a small (actually, the smallest) piece of work that represents some value to an end user and can be delivered during a sprint.
As a [type of user], I want [an action] so that [a benefit/a value]

Great User Stories always fit the INVEST set of criteria by Bill Wake:

Independent – they can be developed in any sequence and changes to one User Story don’t affect the others.
Negotiable – it’s up for the team to decide how to implement them; there is no rigidly fixed workflow.
Valuable – each User Story delivers a detached unit of value to end users.
Estimable – it’s quite easy to guess how much time the development of a User Story will take.
Small – it should go through the whole cycle (designing, coding, testing) during one sprint.
Testable – there should be clear acceptance criteria to check whether a User Story is implemented appropriately.
Don’t forget to add an acceptance criteria = a set of conditions that are used to confirm when a Story is completed.

Is there something else? An Epic is a high-level body of work that bands together with a group of related Stories.

Article also covers:
What Are the Benefits of Creating User Stories?
How to Write User Stories: Our Workflow
Who is responsible for creating a User Story?
When are User Stories created?
What are the steps to write great Agile User Stories?
Step 1: Think of the “Who”
Step 2: Think of the “What”
Step 3: Think of the “Why”
Step 4: Discuss a Story
Conclusion

Author = Andrew Bondarenko (Stormotion)

https://stormotion.io/blog/how-to-write-a-good-user-story-with-examples-templates/

INVEST in Good Stories, and SMART Tasks

XP teams have to manage stories and tasks. The INVEST and SMART acronyms can remind teams of the good characteristics of each.

What are characteristics of a good story? The acronym “INVEST” can remind you that good stories are:
I – Independent
N – Negotiable
V – Valuable
E – Estimable
S – Small
T – Testable

There is an acronym for creating effective goals: “SMART
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Time-boxed

Author = Bill Wake (XP123)

https://xp123.com/articles/invest-in-good-stories-and-smart-tasks/

Summary of User Stories: The Three “C”s and INVEST

A User Story has three primary components, each of which begin with the letter ‘C’:
Card
As a [user role] of the product,
I can [action]
So that [benefit].

Conversation
The collaborative conversation facilitated by the Product Owner which involves all stakeholders and the team.
Confirmation
The Product Owner must confirm that the story is complete before it can be considered “done”. The team and the Product Owner check the “doneness” of each story in light of the Team’s current definition of “done”

The test for determining whether or not a story is well understood and ready for the team to begin working on it is the INVEST acronym:

I – Independent
N – Negotiable
V – Valuable
E – Estimable
S – Small
T – Testable

Article concludes with tips on Splitting User Stories & Personas.

Author = Travis Birch (Berteig)

https://www.berteig.com/how-to-apply-agile/summary-of-user-stories-the-three-cs-and-invest/