Agile/Scrum blog

Onderwerp: User Stories

A Common Pitfall With User Stories

Barry Overeem Door: Barry Overeem,  16-09-2015
Onderwerp: Scrum  User Stories  

The concept of user stories is a well-known tool for describing requirements. In a simple format it captures the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a requirement. User stories have their roots in Extreme Programming (XP) and is an often used tactic within Scrum. In 2001, Ron Jeffries proposed the Three C’s formula as a guide to capture the essence of user stories: Card, Conversation, and Confirmation.

  • card is a physical token giving tangible and durable form to what would otherwise only be an abstraction;
  • conversation is taking place at different time and places during a project between the various stakeholders concerned by the given feature (customers, users, developers, testers, etc.), which is largely verbal but most often supplemented by documentation;
  • The confirmation, the more formal the better, ensures that the objectives the conversation revolved around have been reached finally[1].

The concept of user stories can be very powerful when the Three C’s formula is respected. Especially within a complex environment it’s crucial to understand the idea behind user stories and use it properly. The problem however is, that quite often this isn’t the case.