When working with a team, consistency and efficiency are key. One way that software development teams can achieve this is by using user stories in documentation. User stories help to map out the exact functionality required for applications and keep the team’s attention centered around clients and their needs.
What are user stories?
User stories are part of the Agile methodology which helps teams rethink how they understand requirements. It gets the team talking about the user’s needs, rather than simply writing about them. A user story is a series of conversations about the desired functionality and features that customers will see in their software.
What makes a good user story?
Keep it short and sweet! The main point is to put a user story in the perspective of the individual who is desiring the new capability. While a user story might be short, it’s efficient. It includes the who, what, and why of a requirement. It should be able to fit on a notecard, as if you were creating a storyboard with each of the features on individual cards. One of the best ways to begin a user story is to say “The [who] should be able to [what] in order to [why].” It’s concise and yet answers most, if not all, of the necessary questions that the client and developers might have about what the software will be able to accomplish.
How do user stories benefit clients?
User stories, first and foremost, add consistency to features. Consistent features facilitate crystal-clear communication between the client and the team, so clients receive the exact functionality that they need. Oftentimes, clients want applications that provide different levels of access amongst users, and user stories help to clearly define not just the function, but who will have access to said function. Furthermore, user stories highlight the “why” for every feature, which ensures that only features that truly add value for the client will be developed.