Because life's too short to write everything down
User stories are features our customers might one day like to see in their software.
User stories are like Agile requirements except that they’re not. For one there’s no guarantee all these features are going to make it into the final version of the software. Secondly, Agilists know their customers are going to change their mind - and that’s OK. Because they weren’t really requirements to begin with.
They are written on index cards to encourage face-to-face communication.
Words are slippery things. Get a comma wrong and it can cost you a million dollars. That’s why Agilists love index cards. They make it impossible to write everything down and instead force you to get off your butt and go talk to your customers about the features they’d like to see in their software.
Typically no more than a couple days work, they form the basis of our Agile plans.
User stories form the basis of the Agile plan. They are sized and prioritized like any other wish list. You simply start at the top and work your way down. Nothing big or complex. Just a prioritized todo list and a desire to get things done.
We get them by sitting down with our customers and asking lots of questions.
Big rooms with lots of white space to draw are great for gathering user stories. In these story gathering workshops we draw lots of pictures (flowcharts, screens, storyboards, mockups, anything that helps) and break the functionality down into simple easy to understand words and phrases our customers understand. User stories!
Click here to see a short video on user stories.