Jira was built from the ground up with agile developers in mind, so it's only natural that the platform has features for creating and working with user stories. Jira makes it quick and easy for agile teams to work on user stories, seamlessly fitting them into workflows and sprints.
However, user stories are not product specifications. Instead, the practice of focusing on user needs and experience is putting the human element first.
Here's a comprehensive guide to getting the most out of Jira's User Stories features and avoiding common mistakes.
What this blog post is about:
- What are user stories and what are they for?
- How do Jira user stories fit with Agile?
- How to create a new Jira user story
- Best practices and tips for user stories in Jira
What are user stories and what are they for?
User stories are descriptions of the functionality of the product from the perspective of the users of the product. They should not go into feature details or use technical jargon, but should briefly describe what it is intended for and how it will serve the user. In fact, user stories do not describe the actual operation of the product, but rather represent the desired end goal. The key to stories is that they put people, the ultimate end users, first and at the center of the development process.
Everyone, including users and people in the organization, must be able to read and understand them. Depending on the use case, "user" can refer to a team member, a general system user, or a consumer.
Stories should serve as a compass for the development team, defining the who, what, and why of the project, as well as its primary purpose and the value it will deliver. The team can then use this as a framework to build on, defining features and functionality on the fly. All of this should ensure that the team is on the same page and moving in the right direction.
How do Jira user stories fit with Agile?
User stories are the smallest unit of work in the Agile framework, extending to epics and initiatives. In an agile approach, epics cover large chunks of work and consist of multiple stories, while initiatives combine multiple epics into one larger project.
In Kanban, teams assign user stories to a backlog and then analyze them. In scrum, user stories are burned during sprints. So stories can help you plan your sprint and improve your workflows. Stories ensure that the user experience is always paramount throughout the entire process.
How to create a new Jira user story
User Stories are typically created by the Product Owner or Product Manager and are an enhanced version of an actual user request (provided directly or as a result of research on product usage and desired functionality). .
User stories should generally follow the following pattern: "Like [person], [want to], [for]". → "Who wants to do... What... Why"
The "what" should not refer to the user interface, so it should not describe the buttons or features of the design, but should indicate the basic need of the user. Meanwhile, the "why" should explain the purpose behind the user's desire. Customers, for example, may want to see shipping dates so they know when products will arrive, which provides a more satisfying shopping experience and encourages purchases.
To create a user story in Jira:
- In a Scrum or Kanban project, click the Create button.
- On the "Create Issue" screen, select the issue type "History" from the dropdown list
- Then fill in all the information you need, and you're done!
Like other themes, of course, you can create stories from the backlog, table view, and project page.
The story creation process should include:
- Original User Story – Contributed by real users
- User definition: defines exactly who the user really is or if there are multiple types of users
- Completion status: typically achieved when the user can complete the requested action
- Step definition: potentially splitting the concept into multiple stories, defining each step along the way in a more complex process. This is especially true when more complex stories need to be broken down so that items that are too big for a sprint can be addressed and resolved per sprint.
- Task definition: identifying the tasks needed to facilitate the user story and who they will be assigned to
- And finally, the business value provided by user stories
Once the story is ready, it can be added to the backlog and submitted for review in the sprint meeting. The story is visible to the whole team, so it can be evaluated and discussed.
At this point, you can define the requirements for the story by specifying the technical details of what is needed, assigning functional tasks, and identifying the practical steps required to implement the functionality. The team may also want to include stakeholders and users as the story develops and refines to ensure that what has been created meets its intended purpose.
The team can then plan stories for the next sprint or iteration, possibly using scoring systems like poker scheduling to allocate resources or visually present stories so they can be prioritized. You can also assign appropriate tasks to team members and set deadlines within a sprint or iteration. Stories can be crawled from the backlog or Jira Search if needed.
Best practices and tips for user stories in Jira
User stories are a critical component of agile development projects, so it's important to make sure they're created in a logical and consistent way.
- It should be able to be completed in a sprint. If the story is too complex, it should be broken into multiple stories that can be completed in multiple sprints.
- They should be accessible and describe the desired functionality in general, non-technical terms.
- It must be based on real user experiences and provide measurable business value.
- They need to be detailed enough to meet the described need: stories that are too vague ("make the interface more accessible") cannot be achieved visibly.
- You may catch some inspiration over time. For example, if multiple customers are requesting the same functionality, this is worth considering. Similarly, team members may suggest ideas that don't currently fit on the backlog, but may emerge in the future, so it's a good idea to preserve ideas and save them for later.
- You can store relevant supporting material in Jira using attachments, links, and notes, displaying any material that can help the team without distracting it.
- It should not describe the features of the user interface, but it should indicate the basic requirements that the team can evaluate.
- It doesn't always have to be presented to the team: if the need described in the story isn't practical or doesn't fit the product, it can be evaluated and rejected.
- They should not overwhelm the backlog: Stories that are not related to the product or are unlikely to be resolved in the near future should be removed to prevent the backlog from becoming unusable.
Jira user stories put people at the center of the agile development process, providing answers to questions about who wants to do what and why. This ensures that the development team is responsive to the specific needs of its users and delivers real value.
When implemented successfully, User Stories can be beneficial to the North Star team by fostering collaboration, keeping the team cohesive, and increasing efficiency by focusing the team on business value and specific customer needs. Plus, all of this can be implemented quickly and easily with Jira.
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These 3 C's are Cards, Conversation, and Confirmation. These are essential components for writing a good User Story. The Card, Conversation, and Confirmation model was introduced by Ron Jefferies in 2001 for Extreme Programming (XP) and is suitable even today. So, let us examine these 3 C's for writing User Stories.What are the different types of user stories in Jira? ›
- Task. A task represents work that needs to be done. ...
- Subtask. A subtask is a piece of work that is required to complete a task. ...
- Epic. A big user story that needs to be broken down. ...
- Bug. ...
- Story. ...
- Task. ...
- Subtask. ...
- Step 1: Identify users and define the goal. ...
- Step 2: Identify and group user activities. ...
- Step 3: Prioritize the items. ...
- Step 4: Convert cards into Jira issues. ...
- Step 5: Add issues to a version. ...
- You're all set.
Bill Wake came up with the INVEST acronym to help us remember guidelines for writing effective user stories: Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimatable, Small, and Testable.What are the 4 parts of a user story? ›
User Stories comprise four elements, known as “The Four Cs” – being The Card, The Conversation, The Confirmation, and The Context.What is the best way to structure user stories? ›
User stories are often expressed in a simple sentence, structured as follows: “As a [persona], I [want to], [so that].” Breaking this down: "As a [persona]": Who are we building this for?What is the difference between a Story and a task in Jira? ›
Jira Tasks are part of a Story, and function as single to-dos that are generally completed by one person in a day or less. Whereas a Story will express a goal or end result, a Task is a responsibility or step in the process. Stories may consist of multiple Tasks, which may be done in tandem or in sequential order.How do you structure a user story? ›
- Step 1: Outline acceptance criteria. The definition of done is the set of criteria that needs to be fulfilled for your user story to be considered complete. ...
- Step 2: Decide on user personas. ...
- Step 3: Create tasks. ...
- Step 4: Map stories. ...
- Step 5: Request feedback.
How to prioritize User Stories. There should be three criteria for prioritizing User Stories. These are urgency, importance, and size.What is the difference between story and epic in Jira? ›
"Epic" in Jira is a term used to describe a large body of work that can be broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces called "stories". An Epic is essentially a high-level user story that represents a large feature or initiative that cannot be completed in a single iteration or sprint.
Story hierarchy level – Story and task issues in Jira are mapped to the story hierarchy level by default. Story and task issues are the smallest units of work; stories capture functionality requirements, while tasks capture anything that can be of value to the team working on them.What is Jira story mapping? ›
Story maps organize user stories into a visual presentation, in the form of a grid, to help capture functionality, plan releases, groom the backlog, and identify a journey.Can you do user story mapping in Jira? ›
Whiteboards for Jira enables you to turn all the card items into Jira Issues—epics, tasks or subtasks—and map the dependencies between them. Prioritize user stories into sprint or version swim lanes by dragging up and down.Who facilitates story mapping? ›
Generally, a team will collaboratively create a story map at the start of a project or product. It might be an entirely new product, or the product manager might want to pursue a new idea or feature as part of an existing product.Which 3 elements should a user story have? ›
- Who wants the functionality.
- What it is they want.
- Why they want it.
Let's talk about a better way to define the user story, to ensure that important changes made as part of the user story are delivered correctly for testing and ultimately to production. I call these elements the 5 Ps of a testable story: Persona, Purpose, Pages, Profiles and Permission Sets.What should every user story have? ›
Every agile user story includes a written sentence or two and, more importantly, sparks a series of conversations about the features and functionality the user story represents. User stories are a way to describe the desired functionality of product backlog items.How long should your daily scrum be? ›
Ideally, a daily scrum meeting is held in the morning, as it helps set the context for the coming day's work. Daily scrums are strictly time-boxed to 15 minutes. This keeps the discussion brisk but relevant.How long should a daily scrum stand up take? ›
The Daily Standup meetings ( also referred to as the stand-up, morning rollcall or “daily scrum) are usually time-boxed to between 5 and 15 minutes, and take place with participants standing up to remind people to keep the meeting short and to-the-point.What is the most important part of a user story? ›
The most important part of the user story is a goal. Goals are actions that the company wants its target audience to perform. If the company doesn't understand which processes lead to these main actions, the product won't work properly.
A user story is usually written from the user's perspective and follows the format: “As [a user persona], I want [to perform this action] so that [I can accomplish this goal].”Who writes user stories in scrum? ›
The Product Owner is responsible for creating User Stories. Generally, the Product Owner creates those, but sometime they are developed by the Scrum team in consultation with the Product Owner. the Collaboration in Scrum team favours the Product Owner involving the team in writing User Stories.What are sprints in Jira? ›
What is a sprint? A sprint is a fixed time period where teams complete work from their product backlog. Sprints are usually one, two, or four weeks long. At the end of the sprint, a team will typically have built and implemented a working product increment.How do I track defects in Jira? ›
Capture and track bugs in your software
Capture bugs anywhere in your software projects with Jira Software. Once you've identified a bug, create an issue and add all relevant details, including descriptions, severity level, screenshots, version, and more.
Bug − A problem that impairs or prevents the functions of the product. Epic − A big user story that needs to be broken down. Created by JIRA Software - do not edit or delete. Improvement − An improvement or enhancement to an existing feature or task.What are the 3 pillars of Scrum? ›
If you carefully scrutinize scrum, you will find again and again the three pillars of empirical process control: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
User Stories should be free of dependencies on other user stories. User Stories should be self-contained. User Stories should be completed and released in any order. User Stories should be combined or split in different ways when dependencies occur.What is the user story style guide? ›
What is a user story style guide? A user story style guide is a set of rules and constraints that describe a way to consistently format user stories. The user story style guide is made up of 3 parts that describes the rules for a standard user story format; User Story Schema defines the content.What is the order of priority in Jira? ›
- Lowest - Trivial problem with little or no impact on progress. Color: Light grey.
- Low - Minor problem or easily worked around. ...
- Medium - Has the potential to affect progress. ...
- High - Serious problem that could block progress. ...
- Highest - The problem will block progress.
- 1 Users Come First. ...
- 2 Use Personas to Discover the Right Stories. ...
- 3 Create Stories Collaboratively. ...
- 4 Keep your Stories Simple and Concise. ...
- 5 Start with Epics. ...
- 6 Refine the Stories until They are Ready. ...
- 7 Add Acceptance Criteria. ...
- 8 Use (Paper) Cards.
You cannot do that. An issue can have only one parent Epic that is recognized by Jira as the parent Epic.What is spike in Jira? ›
A spike is any task created to find an answer or gather data. It is frequently used in Scrum, SAFe, and other Agile frameworks. If upcoming work needs more information to begin, a team will decide to schedule an agile spike story in the sprint to prepare for it.What are initiatives in Jira? ›
A Jira Initiative is what you traditionally might call a "project" in the real world. An Initiative is a big-picture goal with milestones, tasks, a timeline, stakeholders, etc.What are the list of roles in Jira? ›
In JIRA, we have three default roles namely: Administrators, Developers, and Users.How many priorities are there in Jira? ›
By default, issues in Jira can have one of five priority levels: Lowest, Low, Medium, High, and Highest. You set this just by creating or opening an issue and clicking on the Priority dropdown. If you don't select a priority when you create an issue, Jira will set it at Medium, which an admin can change later.What are the priority names in Jira? ›
Jira comes with a set of default priorities: Highest, High, Medium, Low, Lowest. You can modify these default priorities, create new ones, and add them to different projects by associating these priorities with project priority schemes.What is the purpose of story points in Jira? ›
Story points are units of measure for expressing an estimate of the overall effort required to fully implement a product backlog item or any other piece of work. Teams assign story points relative to work complexity, the amount of work, and risk or uncertainty.What is the difference between a user story and a journey map? ›
Summary: How does a user story map differ from a customer journey map? A journey map is from the perspective of the person's experience, whereas a story map is from the perspective of the product and what it takes to deliver the user experience.What is the difference between Story map and roadmap in Jira? ›
The user story map's focus on organizing product features and tasks according to their priority makes it a comparatively low-level visualization of the development process. The roadmap, conversely, focuses on the high-level details of the process, such as product goals, releases, and milestones.Where are user stories written in Jira? ›
Writing User Stories in JIRA
A new user story in JIRA can be created by selecting the option to create a new issue of type 'Story' as shown below: The user story in the format listed above can be written in the summary field of the new issue creation screen.
For example, users of an ecommerce product may want to search items for sale, view items by category, put items into a shopping cart, and complete a purchase. These activities will comprise the stories across the top of the map, which the team will then break down into smaller user stories.What is the difference between user story and user scenario? ›
Scenarios, for example typically comprise a highly descriptive narrative detailing a user's engagement with a product or service within a particular context, whereas user stories tend to be brief, formulaic listings capturing specific activities and goals required for a user to achieve a particular outcome.What are five benefits of story mapping? ›
- Facilitates knowledge sharing between development and design teams.
- Creates superior visualization of user journeys.
- Provides a bird's-eye perspective of product features and releases.
- Encourages shorter and smaller release cycles.
- Inspires lean thinking.
- Enables product discovery.
The three Cs stand for Card, Conversation and Confirmation and in this article, I'm going to discuss each of the elements, explaining why, and how to ensure you're doing it right. I'll also scatter in a few tips from my experiences with agile teams.What does 3 C's stand for? ›
This method has you focusing your analysis on the 3C's or strategic triangle: the customers, the competitors and the corporation. By analyzing these three elements, you will be able to find the key success factor (KSF) and create a viable marketing strategy.What is the three C's technique? ›
Some clients may be familiar with the “3 C's” which is a formalized process for doing both the above techniques (Catch it, Check it, Change it). If so, practice and encourage them to apply the 3 C's to self- stigmatizing thoughts.What are the three C's rule? ›
Instruments of Informal Governance: Co-optation, Control and Camouflage. The evidence collected in the research supports the relevance of three types of informal governance practices. Nicknamed “the 3C's”, they are associated with high levels of corruption.What are the 3c techniques in scrum? ›
The 3 C's (Card, Conversation, Confirmation) of User Stories
Work together to come up with ideal solutions. The goal is to build a shared understanding. Confirmation – Work towards agreement on what to build. Record that agreement as a set of confirmation tests.
But at its core, SAFe places the highest value on four deeply held beliefs: alignment, transparency, respect for people, and relentless improvement.What is the difference between epic and story in Jira? ›
Stories, also called “user stories,” are short requirements or requests written from the perspective of an end user. Epics are large bodies of work that can be broken down into a number of smaller tasks (called stories). Initiatives are collections of epics that drive toward a common goal.
Make sure your classroom culture is one they will want to remember. By using the three Cs of compliments, competition, and celebration, you'll be one step closer to creating an atmosphere your students will treasure.What are the 3's of CBT? ›
In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT, the goal is to help the patient understand how their thoughts impact their behaviors. There are three pillars of CBT that help structure the sessions. These pillars are identification, recognition, and management.What is the three point check CBT? ›
The CBT triangle, or cognitive triangle, is a tool used by therapists and others to teach the concept of changing negative patterns of thought. The points of the triangle show how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. By changing one of these three points, you can change the others for the better.What are the three negative Cs? ›
The three “bad C's” are: Criticize. Condemn. Complain.What are the three Cs for employees? ›
The proposed 3 C's of employee engagement are career, competence and care.What are the three Cs characteristics? ›
The three C's of credit are character, capacity, and capital. Each of the elements are important for determining a person or group's credit rating.