How to Write Effective User Stories in Jira

Written By Ajinkya R (Administrator)

Updated at May 5th, 2020

User stories are one of the main methods of communicating requirements to developers/development teams in an Agile project. It is very important for the individual or team which will be tasked with documenting the requirements to be able to write effective and detailed enough user stories. The user stories are more specific and comprehensive which is enough to enable the developer & development team to analyze, designing, and developing the business functionality of the project.

What is a User Story?

User stories are short, specific & simple descriptions of a feature in the system under development told from the perspective of the person who desires this new capability. This person is normally an end-user of the system or even a business customer who pays for the solution.  

User stories typically follow a simple template as below.

As a <type of user / user role>, I must be able to <some goal / feature> so that I can <some reason / benefit>.

For example:

As a team leader, I want to have access to advanced reporting so that I can report on the success of my team better

Why write User Stories?

  • They help the team focus on the end-user – the development team usually works on a list of tasks that need to be completed, and they need access to a bigger-picture view of the project. That’s what user stories provide – they help your team stay focused on solving problems for real users. 
  • They boost collaboration – since they define the end goal, user stories help team members work together, brainstorm, and decide how to build a feature that allows achieving that objective.
  • They create project momentum – after completing a user story, the team can celebrate a small win and drive the momentum of the project. 
  • The foster creativity – since user stories are general and don’t include specific requirements or details, they encourage the team to brainstorm possible solutions for achieving the end goals.

How to write user stories in Jira?

You can create a new user story in Jira by selecting the option to create a new issue. When choosing the issue type, you need to pick Story. You can then use the summary field to fill it with the user story itself. You will see it on the new issue creation screen.

There are several things to remember when writing a user story:

  • Make sure that it’s independent. A user story needs to be able to exist on its own and make sense. So it needs to be independent of all other user stories.
  • User stories are negotiable. A user story doesn’t detail specific features or contain requirements. Its role is to facilitate discussion among project stakeholders about what end goals a given system needs to deliver and what kind of requirements will allow that system to perform.
  • User stories need to focus on business value. They concentrate on the user: their needs, desires, and requirements. Ultimately, every user story displays the end value that the software you’re building will bring to your users.

In Jira, you can also set priority to user stories, add the due dates, assign given user stories to team members in the project, and include a story point estimation. Once the user story is ready, your team can assign it to the sprint during which it will be implemented.

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