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Doing IT projects? Let's write good user stories


IT meeting

Quite often, IT projects don't generate enough value. This usually happens due to lack of clarity on the business requirements which translates into a poor project scope. As a consequence, a lot of resources are utilised to deliver a scope that was not what the business really needed, which is frustrating for the project sponsor, the stakeholders and users.


It's critical to spend enough time working out the business requirement for the IT project to generate value. The project team needs to ensure that the needs of users and stakeholders are 100% captured, and therefore addressed by the new/upgraded system.


An easy and effective way to do this is by writing good user stories. Nonetheless, we often see user stories that are not clear nor workable. Below it's an example of a bad and a good user story:

User stories

The 'bad' user story was taken from a real life case. They are not clear, actionable, testable, nor workable. They are a good measure of what the problem is, but not how the problem needs to be resolved by the new/upgraded system.


The 'good' user story is different. The user and scope are clear (simple and concise), it's understandable, and allows the developers/system administrators to formulate a solution in the form of a new sales report. Although it could be perfected, it's very workable. This is the style of user stories that will help the purposes of the project team and the business.


Do you need further assistance on this topic? We have senior MBA-qualified professionals with Project Management Certifications (PMP and PRINCE2 Agile) that will be delighted to help you.



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