What is a User Story?

What is a User Story?

A User Story is a narrative describing a system feature from the user’s perspective. It serves as a placeholder for future discussions between developers and business stakeholders. Typically, a user story is written on an index card, which is sufficient for facilitating a conversation. It is not a detailed requirement but is intended to evolve as discussions progress and requirements become clearer. If a requirement is deemed unnecessary, the user story can be discarded. A user story’s simplicity and lack of detail make it manageable and estimable.

Example of a User Story –

Here is a User Story related to a bank –

Loan Application

As a bank customer, I want to apply for a loan online so that I can avoid visiting the branch in person and conveniently manage my finances from home.

Here is a User Story for a pharmaceutical industry –

Prescription Refill

As a patient, I want to request a prescription refill online so that I can conveniently get my medication without needing to visit the pharmacy in person.

Here is a User Story for a construction company–

Material Inventory Management

As a site supervisor, I want to track the inventory of construction materials so that I can ensure we have the necessary supplies and avoid delays due to shortages.

Pointers on writing a story

One of the approaches to writing a User Story is to follow the INVEST guideline.

  • I – Independent, every user story needs to be independent of each other.
  • N – Negotiable, requirements discussion and negotiation between the developers and business stakeholders.
  • V – Valuable, clear, and quantifiable value to business
  • E – Estimable, enough details for developers to estimate
  • S – Small, small enough that it can be worked by 1-2 developers
  • T – Testable, for business to test the work done.


User Story is not a replacement for requirement-gathering documentation, it is a narrative for discussion between developers and business persons.

User Story is not part of Scrum though it has been widely used in Scrum. If you refer the Scrum Guide, you will find the word “work” and not User Story.

User Story is also not part of Kanban, if you refer the Kanban guide – you will find the word ” work items” and not user story.

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