How To Write User Stories That Deliver Real Business Value
What you'll learn
- Seed and replenish a Product Backlog by writing User Stories that focus on the business value without dictating technical solutions.
- Understand the power of the 3 C’s of a User Story - The Card, the Conversation, the Criteria (or Confirmation).
- Reduce time to deliver software by giving developers well-formed, actionable User Stories answering the WHO, WHAT, and WHY of a business need.
- Translate business needs into well-structured User Stories that follow the INVEST (Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, Testable) guidelines.
- Identify User Story contributors using User Role Modeling, Persona Development, and Stakeholder Identification techniques.
- Synchronize the vision of the business and the development team with clearly defined Acceptance Criteria that clarify the intent of the User Story.
- Minimize miscommunication and misunderstandings by drilling-down User Stories at the RIGHT time and to the RIGHT level of detail.
- Learn 6 techniques to reduce ambiguity, save time in 3-Amigos Conversations, and allow your Agile Team to deliver solutions that delight end-users.
- Save time and resources by leveraging Lean principles of waste reduction, last responsible moment, and built-in quality to your User Stories.
- Ensure that your User Stories are at the right level of detail for prioritization and splitting.
- Apply 8 ways to split User Stories, Epics, and Features in Preparation for Imminent Sprints or Releases.
- Develop business-focused acceptance tests that prove that the solution delivers desired and defined features and functions.
- Desire to learn how to leverage the User Story Paradigm to get the digital solution you need
- No technical background necessary
- No additional materials are required
User Stories Demystified and Distilled for the User Community and Technical Teams
If you feel overwhelmed trying to explain what you expect a proposed digital solution to deliver, this course is for you!
If you pretend to be invisible because an IT developer looks your way, this course will increase your confidence!
If you are a developer frustrated trying to understand what the business community really wants, this course gives you solutions!
If you are anxious about attending a User Story Workshop, you really should take this course!
By the way, if you are a Product Owner, Business Analyst, Subject Matter Expert, User Experience (UX) Designer, or Developer working with people to get their "real" User Stories, you definitely need this course!
Users AND Agile Teams Both Need to Know How to Work with User Stories
Communication is a two-way street. User Stories are currently the best tool for communicating business needs assuming they accurately express the business community’s perspective. Well-written, insightful User Stories are the foundation developers need to deliver digital solutions that support your business goals and objectives.
Both sides (users and developers) need a common understanding of the User Story paradigm.
As a user, it is your responsibility to express your needs in the format that developers understand and need.
As a developer, you need to leverage the User Story paradigm to deliver digital solutions that will delight the business community.
As a Product Owner or Business Analyst, you need to understand both perspectives to ensure that the Agile team delivers what the organization needs.
Why Should You Buy This Course?
Fully updated with tons of new content.
Includes 252-page Student Handout in .pdf format for note-taking
"Intellimated" video lectures use visual representations to simplify complex concepts and associations.
Quizzes and assignments give you an opportunity to test your understanding of the presented material, reinforce learning, and increase retention.
Help from the authors to clarify open questions and provide additional information.
Lifetime access to the course including future updates.
30-day Moneyback guarantee backed by Udemy if you are not completely satisfied with the learning experience.
You will gain confidence in your ability to leverage the power of User Stories to minimize miscommunication that plagues IT initiatives.
About the Instructor
Teaches 10 Udemy courses for Agile Business Analysis with over 50,000 students enrolled.
Champions lean and agile methods to meet communication challenges between business and IT communities.
Extensive YouTube Channel with 111 videos for 17K subscribers and 1.6M views.
Authored 10 Business Analysis books covering tools and techniques for Agile and traditional software requirements.
Consultant to a multitude of Fortune 500 companies and governmental agencies.
Facilitated 100’s of User Story and Requirements Gathering Workshops for multi-million-dollar projects.
25+ years’ experience with instructor-led training for tens of thousands of students around the world.
Coach and mentor for aspiring business analysts.
Intrigued but not convinced? Take a look at our FREE previews to make sure my instructor style and delivery work for you.
Why Should You Enroll?
According to a recent survey, 69% of today’s top employers list effective communication as a required skill. User Stories are the primary mode of communication between the business and those who develop and deliver the digital solutions that are the soul of most organizations today.
You will benefit from this course if you:
want to get digital solutions that meet your needs.
want to make sure you understand what the business community is requesting.
want to reduce the friction between developers and the business community.
are invested in delivering digital solutions that provide business value.
want to learn simple techniques that will serve you well when you are in the hot seat.
About the Course
To deliver working software that the business community needs and wants, developers must understand those needs. Fundamentally, they really must know:
a) Who needs something (the role)?
b) What do they need (to do or to know with potential qualifiers)?
c) Why do they need it (the business value)?
In recent years, the User Story has emerged as the most common tool for answering those critical questions simply, quickly, and efficiently.
Although, many recommend the very powerful “As a …, I want …, so that …” structure, the User Story is much too important to be limited by artificial constraints. Its strength is its potential for leveraging the software development process to achieve the competitive advantage that is business agility.
WHAT'S YOUR TAKEAWAY?
You will learn how to determine the best structure for your User Stories based on the needs of all audiences while ensuring delivery of business value to the author of each User Story.
You will understand the core components of a well-structured User Story and defend the purpose of each. In addition, I explain why defining business needs in User Story format is a significant factor in achieving effective communication between the business user community and developers.
To ensure that business community needs and wants are met, I will present techniques for capturing User Stories from the right mix of end users and other stakeholders. You can only get a reasonably complete set of User Stories by identifying Roles, Personas, and Stakeholders that your digital solution must support.
User Role Modeling, Stakeholder Identification, and Persona Development are three approaches that I have found most helpful in different situations. The role gives developers the power to clarify the intent behind the User Story which greatly increases the chances that the business community gets the solution it needs.
How to write a User Story is a simple, easy-to-learn skill. I will introduce and explain several ideas on how to make sure your User Stories are GREAT. Following the INVEST model will help make your User Stories Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small, and Testable.
Those six criteria help you avoid a lot of problems, but each criterion can be challenging to achieve. For that reason, I introduce 3 methods that you can use to implement the INVEST model and add significant value to your User Stories.
As powerful as User Stories are, they are still susceptible to misunderstanding. You will learn 6 specific methods for identifying and removing the twin causes of miscommunication, namely ambiguity and subjectivity. In line with the Lean principle of waste reduction, you should wait until the last responsible moment to ensure that your User Stories are clear, concise, relevant, and at the right level of detail for developers.
The most important tool to reduce misunderstandings and avoid any ambiguity are Acceptance Criteria, aka Conditions of Satisfaction. They provide details of functionality that help the developers understand the User Story the way the originator intended.
You will learn how to use simple checklists, Business Rules, conditional statements, Functional Features, and Given-When-Then Statements to express Acceptance Criteria. These form the basis for the essential step of Acceptance Testing which is covered later in the course.
Lean and Agile do not change the need for sound analysis and decision making. What they change is the timing of those activities. You will learn what to do and when to do it given that the User Stories live and evolve throughout the process of delivering software that wows its users. You defend the need for Product Backlogs, Feasibility Analysis, and User Story Prioritization to ensure the evolution of the product delivers business value at every step of the way.
What the business community considers a simple request can be unbelievably complex for developers. Learn when and how to right-size your User Stories to ensure effective communication from start to finish. The meaning of the INVEST criteria require constant adjustment as the product evolves. You will learn 8 simple methods for splitting User Stories while ensuring the original intent is honored.
Finally, confirm that the delivered digital solution delivers what your organization needs to thrive. You will learn how to translate User Story Acceptance Criteria in any format to Acceptance Tests using Gherkin’s GIVEN-WHEN-THEN Scenarios. This revolutionary language facilitates manual testing and gives you the potential for using automated testing tools.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
Enroll now to move toward becoming the User Story Expert in your organization.
Who this course is for:
- Product Owners
- Product Team Members
- Product and Project Managers
- Domain or Subject Matter Experts
- Business Analysts
- Business Managers
- Business- or Customer-Side Team Member
- Agile Team Member
- Systems Analyst
- Quality Assurance Specialist / Testing Team Member
- … or anyone responsible for defining or delivering digital solutions for the future.
Angela and Tom Hathaway of BA-EXPERTS (previously Hathaway & Associates, Inc. and Requirements Solutions Group, LLC) have been in business analysis and UX (User Experience) design for over 30 years. Their expertise spans information technology, methodologies, and innumerable applications in every industry for organizations from Mom-and-Pop shops to Fortune 100 companies and government agencies. In their writings and lectures they strive for enlightening while entertaining.
They have taught many thousands of students around the world and facilitated hundreds of requirements discovery sessions under a variety of acronyms (JAD, ASAP, JADr, JRP, etc). In recent years, they have focused their attention on human-machine communication, in particular how to improve the use of Chatbots.
Current and past customers include TIAA-CREF (Financial), Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airlines (Transportation), Manitoba Telecom Services (Telecommunications), Honeywell (Manufacturing), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Hospitality), numerous government agencies, and a myriad of other organizations.
Tom and Angela's training, consulting, and mentoring efforts have saved their customers around the world millions of dollars. They can help your organization evolve and improve your conversational user interface, business analysis, and UX Design practices.