Tyner Blain on Writing Complete User Stories

Tyner Blain is one of my favorite blog authors on product management. He specializes in agile product management. He strikes a great balance between classic PM work and adapting to an agile world where we’re not trying to plan and document everything perfectly.

(Insert compulosary note of grief for readers working in a waterfall world…)
The latest post, about writing complete user stories, is very interesting. A lot of people latch on to the idea of user stories, and I believe in it as well. I always found complete use-cases to be too formal, too hard to read, too long and yet never truly complete, and just heavyweight in general. The effort of keeping them updated and in sync with real life was hard. Too hard.
One-sentence user stories are sometimes awesome. Sometimes they even deliver more value in that one sentence than a 100-page document. But they’re hardly ever complete at the start, and that’s OK.
What I find is that they are often completed verbally in discussions between team members. Tyner helps put a framework, at least a mental one, about what it takes to complete the user story, as well as a decent template for documenting it.
As usual, his writing style is crisp and easy to read. The diagrams and charts are excellent in all his blog posts.
Thanks, Tyner!
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