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Advanced Agile User Stories

Course Description

User stories are a common tool used during agile development efforts.  Learning to write effective user stories requires practice and a solid understanding of what makes a “good” user story.  How do we create lean documentation while still providing enough detail to ensure that our team builds a valuable, effective solution?

This class approaches user stories from the perspective of developing and maintaining a healthy backlog.  The six keys to success are to:

    • Establish a business value baseline
    • Create robust stories that meet the INVEST criteria (Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Small and Testable)
    • Include other work items in the backlog
    • Create a “big picture” for the project and analyze it for potential gaps
    • Keep 3 sprints of “ready” user stories
    • Regularly monitor the backlog and the team’s progress.


Agile analysis practitioners will further their understanding of approaches to organizing, prioritizing, valuing, splitting, and refining their user stories.  This includes development of examples, models, and acceptance criteria to ensure a shared understanding of the story.

Concepts are reinforced throughout class in hands-on workshops.  Participants can bring their initiative or epic to break down into user stories or use a provided case study.

Learning Objectives

  • Practice writing “good” user stories that clearly identify the Who, What, and Why of the story
  • Complete the backlog by including other work items
  • Provide practical tools and techniques to ensure your user stories meet the characteristics of INVEST
  • Develop a “big picture” view of the stories in your backlog and analyze it for gaps
  • Practice progressive elaboration techniques to transform stories from “raw” to “ready”
  • Reinforce the use of core components analysis to ensure that stories have “just enough” detail
  • Use examples, models, and acceptance criteria to develop a shared understanding of each user story
  • Identify ways to split user stories “vertically” instead of “horizontally”
  • Use business value as a basis for prioritizing the backlog and defining a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Monitor the team’s progress and identify opportunities for incremental improvement

Intended Audience 

This course is designed for product owners and management involved with agile teams who need a more in-depth understanding of the process and skill set useful for an agile team. 


We recommend participants have attended our Agile Analysis Boot Camp course or have equivalent agile experience or training. 


Course Details


2 Days

Delivery Mode

Onsite, Virtual


Public Classes

Currently, we don't have any public sessions of this course scheduled. Please let us know if you are interested in adding a session.

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