As our pet project me and my product management mates decided to improve the way we write user stories at Y Soft R&D department.

The biggest challenge is not to find what to do, as we are quite sure about that. The biggest challenge for us is to split to epic to user story in a useful way to be planned but still understandable way, so that developers see the value.

As the input user story, we took a story already posted here by our fellow Y Softer Ondra: I, as an End User, want the system to control access to my documents in a way visible to me, so that I can trust that my documents remain confidential.

This story is great as it represents the stakeholder value as well as the product vision. Our job is now to check whether the story is ready for development or if more backlog grooming is required.

We found the “How to split a user story” from Richard Lawrence (Agileforall.com) quite useful.

At our first session, we started with step 1 – INVEST model helping to prepare the input story. More information about INVEST can be found on wikipedia. The funny thing on INVEST model is that even if you split to small the story, the story must still satisfy the INVEST model. Therefore you have clear guidance on how far you can go with splitting.

So let’s go evaluate our story 🙂

Independent?

Yes.

Negotiable?

Yes, because the story is too high level. What’s negotiable: system (can be user), documents (can be control of something else), and value.

Valuable?

Yes, definitely

Estimable?

Partially, but not estimable to one sprint, since the output of the story can be everything from Human computer interaction to Biometric stuff.

Small?

No. Level of certainty is too low.

Testable?

No. It is very hard to find a metric for this story.

What does this mean?

The story is not done yet, so let’s continue to the next round and split the story!

In the next session we will try to split some more stories as well. 😉

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