Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Alternative Story Card Format

The common story card format is
As a [ person ]
I would like to [ action ]
so that [ reason for action ]
Unfortunately, I don't believe that it creates the accountability that it attempts to show. For example, a story card could be:
As a script author
I'd like to see a diff of current scripts against previous scripts
so that I can verify alterations
The above story card would be a valid story card; however, it doesn't tell me who introduced this story card. What if the card was introduced by a stakeholder who will actually never play the role of script author. Perhaps it was created in anticipation of an auditing requirement that has yet to be defined. In the end, the functionality may end up YAGNI.

Ownership can be very important when stakeholders need to collaborate on determining scope. Therefore, I prefer explicitly naming the owner of the card.
Jay would like to see a diff of current scripts against previous scripts so that he can verify alterations.
Using this format also ensures that only customers are creating requirements.

For more information on Story Cards check out the c2 wiki.


  1. Anonymous5:21 AM

    How about:

    Jay, as a script author...

    This way you capture both the stakeholder and the role.

    I also prefer using 'business value' rather than 'reason for action'. If this is the template it's harder to write stories that don't have business value (which is quite common).


  2. I would prefer a User Persona name instead of a stakeholder given that it's supposed to be a user story


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