When Business Analysts undertake a project, one of the most essential components for success is understanding the needs of the end user and their purpose for those requirements. To aid in this, BA’s compile and analyze User Stories that provide small but powerful input from end users and customers.
User Stories are extremely valuable tools for organizing information and requirements directly from those who will be using the software, processes, or the end result product that you’ll be delivering. In this article, we’ll take a look at the essentials of User Stories and the benefits they generate for project teams and the customers or end users.
If you’re unfamiliar with the basics of User Stories, don’t worry – I’ll review those first! I also offer a User Stories Masterclass that covers more essential concepts if you’re ready to take your knowledge and skills from novice to pro!
What Are User Stories
User Stories are short, conversation-inducing statements, that explain the need from the user’s perspective. In one sentence, they cover WHO has the need, (their role in the company), WHAT their needs are (the function), and WHY they want it (the benefit it would provide them).
The formula is typically expressed as:
“As a [type of user], I would like [goal], so I can [do something].”
This statement formula keeps things clear and concise, and acts as a starting point for BA’s to probe further into the needs of the end user. Typically, User Stories come from discussions, observation sessions, and brainstorming.
The Benefits of Diverse User Stories
User Stories draw so many benefits – for the team and the solution. And it is essential that you gather User Stories from every team or person who will be using the process, product, or system that you’re creating.
Let’s take a look at some of the notable benefits of collecting diverse User Stories from a range of teams and individuals:
Increase Team Collaboration and Creativity
The process of soliciting and creating User Stories fosters collaboration and creativity between and within teams. The nature of the process itself requires collaborative discussion among team members to ensure that requirements are uncovered and details of those needs are discussed. When there are multiple individuals inputting ideas for requirements, creativity is nurtured through brainstorming.
A Better Overall Solution
When input from multiple teams is included, a well-rounded solution is a result. Not all users have the same goals, and not everyone will use the system, product, or process in the same way. Diverse User Stories help you fulfill all of the requirements at the company and help with identifying and filling any gaps.
Not all user requirements are big and time-consuming. Identifying high-value, easy-to-tackle needs can provide your team with a sense of accomplishment and make them feel empowered to continue tackling subsequent requirements.
These are just a few of the benefits of leveraging diverse User Stories in your projects. Because, in the end, User Stores are extremely powerful for quickly and clearly communicating the needs of your stakeholders, and helping you identify the value that you can provide to teams and the organization.
If you want to grow your skills and knowledge of how to successfully incorporate and facilitate User Stories, check out my User Stories Masterclass. I hope to see you there!
– Written by Jeremy Aschenbrenner, The BA Guide