How user stories help digital product owners make better decisions? In this short blog post I will outline the 5 most practical benefits of user stories which any business can achieve.
User stories help to reach a mutual agreement
User stories help to look at the digital product from each stakeholder’s perspective. If you’re building a business management application, then possibly, it is going involve people from different departments. When organisations have limited time and budget – reaching an agreement over certain features between representatives of different departments is important. Each department needs can be described with several user stories.
User stories represent any size of the group
User stories bring clarity about the needs of the key stakeholders. Usually stakeholder groups consist of a big number of people. For example if you are a company, which provides chauffeur services, the major stakeholder group is going to be 239 people who drive cars. Their needs can be described with a single story of a driver Bob, who spends the whole day using the application in his car. Get the idea?
User stories help to prioritise digital product features
When application functionality is described from user’s perspective – decision makers speak about the tasks, which application users will be able to perform, instead of wasting time discussing about small insignificant features of application which are irrelevant at the planning stage. Getting too much into details is never a good idea – leave it for the user experience and user interface designers.
User stories put everyone on the same page
This on is very important. User stories servers like a bridge between developers and business minded people who aren’t tech savvy people. This will greatly simplify the process of decision making when parties with different backgrounds are involved.
User stories help in Agile Scrum development
Another important thing is that user stories help in the Scrum development process. The sprint planning and backlog refinement meetings are the key processes, where bits and pieces of user stories are used. It provide development team the guidance and understanding of the application features. If you haven’t heard about Agile Scrum development approach, we encourage you to check out a short scrum development guide written by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.
The beauty of user stories is that anyone can write it with a little bit of practice.
Let’s finish off with inspiring words by Jeff Patton.
“Stories aren’t a written form of requirements; telling stories through collaboration with words and pictures is a mechanism that builds shared understanding. Stories aren’t the requirements; they’re discussions about solving problems for our organization, our customers, and our users that lead to agreements on what to build. Your job isn’t to build more software faster: it’s to maximize the outcome and impact you get from what you choose to build.”
― Jeff Patton, User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product