User stories are an ideal vehicle for understanding the needs of users to inform product and service development.
A user story is an informal, natural language description of one or more features of a software system. User stories are often written from the perspective of an end user or user of a system.
User stories are a few sentences in simple language that outline the desired outcome. They don’t go into detailed requirements.
As we move along the innovation pipeline in the Jisc Digital Apprenticeships project we are not only using user stories to support the development of the project, but also to avoid scope creep and to inform the project team about the different requirements of the different users in the product process.
If we write user stories for the key players, the provider, the apprentice and the employer, we can ensure that the final product is meeting their actual needs and not the needs that we, the project team, think they have. There may be multiple users within those categories, the Apprentice Manager at a provider may have a very different user story compared to an instructor who is training the apprentice. Individual users may have multiple stories as well.
They provide the project team with focus and clarity.
We have a simple structure, that allows to have a shared understanding of the user needs.
As a… When I am… I want to… so that I can…
- As an apprentice.
- When I am undertaking work based training.
- I want to record what I have done.
- So that I can share what I have learnt with my college.
We consult and talk to users to check and confirm these stories. Once we have the user stories in place, we can then check the product against them to ensure we are on track with the project.