Agile Certification Training

User Story Workshop

Functional Training


User stories are the cornerstone of a healthy Agile organization. Small and well-written user stories are the key to Agile success. This workshop provides training on generating user stories, writing good user stories, and splitting stories that are too big into smaller stories. Hands on activities will use a combination of canned stories, stories created during the workshop, and existing stories drawn from participant's current projects, depending on circumstances.

The workshop will cover a variety of methods for splitting user stories including, use case based, constraint based, timeboxing, and multiple levels of utility. Additional topics include: ordering the backlog of user stories, linking user stories to specification and design documents, user story and backlog grooming, and the creation of research stories.


This workshop is intended for any of the following listed below:

  • Product Managers
  • Business System Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Product Owners

Workshop Outline

Product Strategy
User stories enable strategic thinking and align well with approaches such as Geoffrey Moore’s “Bowling Pin” strategy.

Short Feedback Loops
Short feedback loops between customers and development teams produce better results and reduce time spent going down dead ends. Examines the connection between short feedback loops and small user stories.

Exercise: What Are Your Epics?
Choose some real-life examples of big chunks of work you have done recently or will be doing soon.

Exercise: Who Is Your Customer?
User stories are focused on the customer, but who exactly is the customer? Is it the end user, a business unit, or someone else?

Empathy Maps
Empathy maps are a technique for rapidly creating lightweight personas and generating raw material for user stories.

Basic User Story Format
What exactly is a user story, how does it differ from a traditional requirement, and what are their benefits.

The Road To User Stories
Before you create user stories, there is a set of stages leading up to them including a product vision, roadmap, and “epics.” Learn how the process of going from product vision to user stories differs from going from product vision to requirements document.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
Epics and user stories allow you to more easily work your way from nothing to final product in stages, having a viable product at every stage. This simplifies the process of getting and incorporating customer feedback.

Exercise: Create and MVP
Create an MVP from your epics.

Economic Benefits of User Stories
Working with user stories can have economic benefits. User stories are written in terms of value to the customer. Splitting stories allows you to break stories down into new stories, some of which have more value than others. This process reveals where the most value is, allowing you to reduce cost and produce more value.

Basic User Story Splitting
Covers the techniques of splitting by looking for lists, splitting by acceptance tests, and splitting by customer/user.

Exercise: Split User Story
Apply story splitting techniques to your user stories.

Bad Splitting Techniques
There are naturally occurring techniques that are tempting to follow but have bad side-effects. These include: splitting by architectural layer, splitting by workflow, and splitting by task.

Advanced Splitting Techniques
Covers grafting, story to task to story, levels of value, numerical reduction, Create/Read/Update/Delete, “going sideways,” and use case adaptation.

Exercise: Split User Story
Apply advanced splitting techniques to stories.

Tips and Tricks
Additional guidance on the use and application of user stories.

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