How to write a good user story?


As a developer I would like to always work on well-defined stories with unambiguous goals and all required details to code the feature or do the change. As I didn't find any complete guide to write user stories showing examples, I decided to write my own check list.

Definition of Ready for user stories to enter the sprint backlog

When I first wrote this, I wanted to list all conditions which must be met to pull a backlog item into a sprint. If any condition isn't fulfilled, the backlog item shouldn't be included in the sprint. There some risks on this approach, so I currently prefer to establish a process to improve the user stories more than to create a guard mechanism.


  • Title with the goal of the story
  • Narrative description of the goal of the story
  • The business value is described (Valuable)
    • It is usually related to strategic goals and may take into account other stories
  • Acceptance criteria for the testing team (Testable)
    • They describe exactly what fields are seen, changed or used
    • They clearly indicate how to test the feature
  • Detailed description of what is required
    • Including where do the data come from
    • Including what fields are used, read or written
    • Including how the fields are shown
  • Separate Section Scope including what isn't included in the story
  • Open Questions section for the developers to ask questions before the backlog grooming meeting
  • No external dependencies blocking the item from being completed (Independent)
    • It is good to link the story with the predecessors and next stories
  • The size was estimated can be completed in one sprint (Small)
    • The estimation was done in the backlog grooming by the product owner and some developers
  • The story is prioritized compared to other stories in the product backlog
  • The development team has all required details to evaluate if the story can be finished fulfilling the definition of done in a sprint (Estimable)
    • Questions may always arouse during the sprint, this is expected. But it must be less frequent as the teams and the product owner learn about the business
  • The development team knows how to demo the story


  • If the story involves changes in the frontend, the CSS, Javascript and HTML Code with the design is available
    • In projects were other team is responsible for the UI, you have to relax this requirement. Sometimes developers have to provide the design.
  • Performance criteria, if any, are defined and testable
  • Internationalization: How are the fields, frontend or API works on different languages and countries?



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