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Bertil Muth
Bertil Muth

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The 3 biggest user story myths

In my work with agile teams and as a trainer I often hear statements about user stories that cause problems in practice. Time to get rid of the most common myths.

Myth #1: In Scrum, you document requirements with user stories.

The Scrum Guide leaves it open how backlog items are documented. I like user stories because they shift the perspective from the system to the user. But they are not mandatory. And they should be used more for conversation than for documentation.

Myth #2: If you write user stories, you have to use a certain template.

You probably think of: As a user I want function so that fulfilled need.
The user story concept had nothing to do with this template at the beginning. Later the template became popular. It's possible to document user stories informally. Don't get hung up on the template.

Myth #3: User Stories are estimated with Story Points.

As a Scrum Master, I watched teams go crazy with discussions about story points, estimates and velocity.
There is a simple alternative. The team agrees on small stories. So 1 or 2 days to implement them. Then after the sprint, the team counts the stories it has finished. There's the velocity.

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