User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn

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Chapter 7. Guidelines for Good Stories

At this point, with a good foundation of what stories are, how to trawl for and write them, how to identify key user roles, and the role of acceptance testing, we turn our attention to some additional guidelines for writing good stories.

Start with Goal Stories

On a large project, especially one with many user roles, it is sometimes difficult to even know where to begin in identifying stories. What I’ve found works best is to consider each user role and identify the goals that user has for interacting with our software. For example, consider the Job Seeker role in the BigMoneyJobs example. She really has one top priority goal: find a job. But we may consider that goal to comprise the following goals:

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