The User Story, an elegant requirement

As a product manager, I want to better understand and articulate requirements so that I can more effectively guide development to create value.

Agile User Stories have become the lingua franca of all agile requirements, and this simple construct is an incredibly effective way to encode and share requirements.

This one little sentence contains the answers to the most powerful questions of value creation and product management:

Who, What, Why

Here’s the story format again:

As a <who>, I want <what>, because <why>.

Notice, crucially, we don’t have How. That is never part of a user story. The user doesn’t care how, and it’s premature to start specifying it in this requirement.

Finally, I want to comment that if you’ve written the Why and you haven’t rewritten the Who and the What… then I recommend you take another look.

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