Sunday, November 20, 2011

Who is best positioned to write a User Story ?

Someone with a strong domain knowledge is suitable for writing User Stories and It is typically a person close to the business.  Having said that, I strongly believe that  everyone  in a Scrum team should know how to write User Stories.
Reflecting back on Ron Jefferies’s Circle of Life, User stories have 3 key aspects:  Cards, Conversation and Confirmation.

Conversation is the key aspect to be noted here.

This is how a typical User Story writing conversation takes place:

1. Some one from Business (Product Owner(PO) or Business Analyst(BA)) would write the Story on a card.
2. They keep this card on a table and invite the delivery team including developers, architect, testers, etc into the conversation.
3. The delivery team will ask questions to understand the story and in turn BA or PO would make a note of these changes, but any one standing there could pick up the card and make necessary changes to the User Story card.
4. Technical people (Architect, DB admin, etc) get involved if the discussion is tilted around technical user stories.
5. Product Owner is the final approver of all the User stories

Depending on the size of the project, dedicated people (typically BAs) should be allocated to write User Stories.
In smaller projects, Product Owners can write User Stories.

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