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I.N.V.E.S.T. in better User Stories


Image by Agile101
Image by Agile101

In an earlier post, I covered the concepts of User Stories and Acceptance Criteria.


A User Story is an explanation of a solution, written from the perspective of the end user. Its to articulate how a feature will provide value to customers/stakeholders. User Stories should start a conversation.


Acceptance Criteria are the conditions a solution must meet to be accepted by the user. They help ensure stakeholders and users are satisfied with what they get.


Today, I would like to share about I.N.V.E.S.T.


INVEST is an acronym which stands for: Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimatable, Small, and Testable.

You can use INVEST, which was first coined by Bill Wake, as a guide to improve the quality of your User Stories.


Independent: The user story should be self contained. To avoid challenges with prioritisation and planning, avoid interdependent stories.


Negotiable: The user story is not set in stone. Use ongoing dialogues to rewrite as required.


Valuable: Always keep in mind the end-user value it seeks to deliver.


Estimatable: you should be able to estimate the 'size' of the user story.


Small: The user story should be brief. Try and break it down into smaller do-able chunks.


Testable: You should be able to test the solution. Use objective Acceptance Criteria to see whether the solution meets the requirements.


During your next Backlog Refinement session, why not use a cheat sheet with I.N.V.E.S.T as an easy reference guide?


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