INVEST in user stories

As Scrum is often compared to a fast paced run (or sprint) it is important that you are prepared before you start running. You should not start running if you only have one shoe on or if your shoelaces are undone. Or if you are not really sure which direction you are expect to run! Before you start your sprint you need to be ready! The same thing applies to tickets you are planning to tackle in the upcoming sprint – they need to be READY.

To make them ready you need to consider the following aspects of each user story:

Independent – Each User Story should represent a distinct and independent set of business value such that, were it released on its own, it would deliver incremental value over the previous state.

Negotiable – While the end-goal may be clearly described, the methods by which that goal is achieved should be negotiable – between the Product Owner and the Development Team, the Product Owner and the Customer, or any other involved stakeholders – so as to prevent unrealistic constraints on the feature or functionality.

Valuable – The business value of any User Story should be readily recognizable by reading the story, and each story should represent some sort of value to a specific user type.

Estimable – We must have enough information that we can properly size a story so that we may properly plan and commit to our work. (But no more!)

Small – User Stories should be small enough that they are able to be completed within a sprint.

Testable – All members of the team need a clear and precise way to verify whether or not a User Story has been completed.

Before accepting a story into the sprint ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Has the BLUEPRINT/ARCHITECTURE been updated to account for this story?
  3. What are the DEPENDENCIES? (i.e. design, API readiness, etc..)
  4. Will the FEATURE TOGGLE be applied?

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