Once upon a time…

forest

Once upon a time, there was an apprentice called Little Red Riding Hood. She wanted to be a tree surgeon and was looking at a range of apprenticeships. Her employer, the Woodsman, employed many tree surgeon apprentices across many different forests who were all assessed by various Elven assessors. The Woodsman spent many hours working out who was progressing on their apprenticeship and had trouble discovering those who potentially needed support or an appropriate intervention…

User stories are part of an agile approach that helps shift the focus from writing about requirements to talking about them. All agile user stories include a written sentence or two and, more importantly, a series of conversations about the desired functionality. [1]

User stories follow a simple format.

As a…

I want…

So that…

When designing services or software tools we can use user stories to help us define functionality from the viewpoint of the user, and ensure that the development is user led.

For example

As an Apprentice Manager with an employer with multiple apprentices across various disciplines and supported by different providers.

I want to be able to see attendance patterns across all my apprentices, by discipline and by provider, as well as attendance of individual apprentices.

So that I can ensure all my apprentices are attending and making progress on their apprenticeships and where there are issues I can make appropriate interventions.

These user stories enable us to easily clarify the functionality required from an user perspective and ensure that any development isn’t off focus.

We also use more detailed user stories to describe a potential service and its benefits to members and users, as well as internal staff, such as Jisc Account Managers.

1. https://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/agile/user-stories

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