What are User stories ?

A user story is a small, succinct statement of the functionality required to deliver value to a particular stakeholder.

User stories are used to document the needs of a specific stakeholder and enable teams describe valuable functionalities using short, simple statements.

They can be used to identify stakeholders needs and prioritize, assess, and plan solutions.

A user story is usually a sentence or two that defines which user’s need is being addressed , the goal the user is trying to fulfill, and any additional information that may be crucial in understanding the range of the story.

User stories are focused on stakeholder value and encourage further conversations with stakeholders.

User stories also do the following:

  1. Document stakeholder needs and rank the development of solutions.
  2. Form the foundation for assessing and planning the solution delivery.
  3. Form the basis for creating user acceptance tests.
  4. Act as a criterion for assessing the value delivery.
  5. Act as an element for tracing related requirements.
  6. Are an input into project management and reporting.

A user stories statement include has the following :

1 Title : The title of the story defines an activity that the stakeholder wants the system to execute. The title is an active-verb goal phrase similar to the way use cases are titled.

2 Statement of value: statements of values usually have three elements, which are :

  1. Who: this is a user role.
  2. What: this is a required action, behaviour, functionality, or quality.
  3. Why: this is the value received by the user when the story is executed. For example, “As a , I need to , so that “, “Given…When…Then” is another common format.

3 Conversation: User stories assist teams with investigating and understanding the feature described in the story and the value it will deliver to the stakeholder.

The story itself doesn’t describe everything there is to know about the stakeholder need so the information in the story is usually supported by additional elicitation modelling techniques.

4 Acceptance criteria: A user story may be supported through the creation of detailed acceptance criteria.

Acceptance criteria describes the borders of a user story and helps the team to understand what the solution needs to provide in order to deliver value for the stakeholders.

User stories have their strengths and limitations, which include:


  • It is easily understood by the stakeholders.
  • It can be created through different elicitation techniques.
  • It is centered on the stakeholders value.
  • It allows the stakeholders to have a shared understanding of the need.
  • It is ideal for agile projects due to its small, implementable, and testable slices of functionality, which supports quick delivery and regular customer feedback.

• The requirements might not be detailed enough for the developers to properly implement.
• The requirements might not be up to the organizational documentation standard or stakeholder expectations. So additional documentation may be required.