You are previewing User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development.

User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development

Cover of User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn Published by Addison-Wesley Professional

Chapter 2. Writing Stories

In this chapter we turn our attention to writing the stories. To create good stories we focus on six attributes. A good story is:

  • Independent
  • Negotiable
  • Valuable to users or customers
  • Estimatable
  • Small
  • Testable

Bill Wake, author of Extreme Programming Explored and Refactoring Workbook, has suggested the acronym INVEST for these six attributes (Wake 2003a).


As much as possible, care should be taken to avoid introducing dependencies between stories. Dependencies between stories lead to prioritization and planning problems. For example, suppose the customer has selected as high priority a story that is dependent on a story that is low priority. Dependencies between stories can also make estimation much harder ...

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