As someone working in software development, you’ve probably heard of (or worked with) user stories before. However, many people misunderstand and misuse them — these are not simply another set of software requirements.
The point of the user story is to make sure that the end-user is never out of sight; something that can easily happen if a team of developers suffers from tunnel vision. It’s important to never forget the big picture — which is why user stories exist. This powerful format allows the development team to view their project from a non-technical point of view.
Once developers read a well-written user story, they will have a clear view of what kind of value they’re providing to the end-user, and why they’re working on their project, to begin with. This kind of clarity increases creativity and collaboration.
User stories are crucial for defining your end product more clearly. If you utilize a set of well-prioritized, properly defined user stories — you and your team will have a firm grasp on the entire point of the project and the value of the product.
It’s what you would tell someone about the product without using overly technical terms; simply put, it’s how you would describe your product to someone who isn’t a developer, in simple plain English.
So, why is this so important for the development process? As you will see, pulling back from the technical nitty-gritty details and looking at the big picture in a meaningful way provokes thoughtful product discussions.
If you take the time to craft a user story thoughtfully, you will have the best possible basis for discussing the product as a whole within your team; which is sometimes just as important as the technical practicalities.
Larger projects can require quite a lot of teamwork from a huge number of people; in many cases, entirely separate teams that need to coexist and collaborate on a single project. In such a situation, it’s difficult to keep the entire team aligned and focused on the common end goal.
That’s where user stories come in to provide clarity across the board — knowing why you’re creating something, and for whom, is crucial for achieving goals in a timely and productive manner. And they’re equally useful when you have to make a technical deep dive as they are for a scope discussion.
Perhaps most importantly, user stories allow for more effective project participation from non-technical members of your team. The average contemporary software project is incredibly complex; meaning that the bulk of acronyms and technologies are not easy to grasp for non-devs.
Your user stories allow those team members to have a clear overview of the project as well, increasing the value that they bring to the table.
Most importantly, you need to ensure that you think like a particular user, or as more commonly referred to in user stories — a specific persona. This gives the story a perspective and an angle that informs the point of the project.
These persona definitions are the most crucial aspect of a user story because they allow the development team to connect to their target audience and understand their needs.
On a more practical note, a complex project may involve a multitude of smaller user stories for specific functionalities as well. This can make it difficult to administrate and navigate them; which means you need to use the proper metadata. Make sure that you tag, categorize, and name these stories in an efficient manner.
At the end of the day, the task of your development team is to take these user stories and create a product that complies with their point. If you need more information on translating effective user stories into practical chunks of code, contact NerdCloud. You can experience all of the benefits of extra development power from industry experts without hiring additional developers or committing in a meaningful way.