Creating a web app/ software is more than just coding and getting the app up and running.

There are various steps involved, such as understanding the need, designing, testing, refining, and the app’s final release. 

Some of the web apps we see were somehow complex to comprehend during the development process. Luckily, when complex processes, ideas, or concepts are visualized, it becomes easy to digest them.

User Stories are an essential ingredient in the software development journey as it helps describe its features visually and prioritize items or stories that need developing. Keep reading to understand how to create User Stories in Jira.

What is a User Story

A User Story can be described as a general explanation of a web app/software feature written from the end user’s perspective. It is worth noting that User Stories are not software requirements. However, such stories are informal and are written to illustrate how such feature/s will provide value to the end users. 

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The basic structure of a User Story

User Stories are the ‘to-do’ lists that help determine the steps to follow when working on a project. A User Story is supposed to capture the  “who”, “what”, and “why” of a product requirement. Such stories are brief, where each element contains 10-15 words. These steps will help ensure the product and the process meet the desired requirements. 

According to Ron Jeffries, every User Story should have the 3Cs, denoting “Card, Conversation, and Confirmation”. Let us now describe the 3Cs to observe when writing User Stories in Jira.

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Card 

User Stories were originally written on physical cards or Post-it notes. We now have modern cards we can easily customize when writing User Stories in Jira. However, the card will contain only some information on the requirement. A card will have enough information to help you understand the need. 

The card can also feature important details such as priority and cost associated with the feature. The Product Owner or Project Manager will hand over the story card to the developers once all the details have been captured. 

Conversation 

After the card is used to formulate the User Story, a conversation follows among the involved parties. The requirement in the User Story needs to be discussed and refined before it is communicated to the developers. 

Collaboration is also fostered through conversations between Product Owners, Scrum Masters, developers, and stakeholders. Various stakeholders share their thoughts and opinions through these conversations from the planning phase to the point where the User Story is picked for implementation. These conversations can be verbal and, at times, have supporting documents. 

Confirmation 

Conversations can go on for days or even weeks. However, there can be an element of doubt, so confirmation is needed. You can add some criteria that give a specific measure as an acceptance criterion. These measures can be written as bullet lists within the story.

The confirmation comes in the form of acceptance tests. Such tests should capture the essential requirements and help you test the created product to determine if it meets the standards. The Product Owner defines the acceptance criteria. On the other hand, developers are tasked with implementing the acceptance criteria. 

Purpose of writing a User Story

  • Helps Designers, Product Owners, and Developers think with the end users in mind. Modern products should always consider how the end users will interact with the product. A User Story is an excellent approach that highlights the end users’ journey when designing and developing a product.
  • Has a simple and flexible format. User Stories in Jira don’t have to be complicated. The straightforward format ensures that you capture all the details using the least words possible. Needs also change as a system/ software application grows, and that is why a User Story is flexible to accommodate such changes. 
  • The team speaks the same language. A typical development team can have a Product Owner, designers, and developers. A User Story is a good tool that ensures that everyone on the team understands the need and the end goals. 
  • User Stories enable collaboration. User Stories define the end goals. The team can thus work together and decide how to serve the end user best and achieve the set goals. 

Best practices to follow while writing User Stories

#1. The User should be clearly defined

Work should only be done if a user is identified. The user requesting this feature can be an external user, a client, or the product manager. The User can sometimes be a member of the development after noting a feature that should be worked on. 

The User is presented as:

“As a [Username]……”

For example, ”As a tenant…….”, or “As a landlord….”

#2. User Stories must capture the need

Some of the questions to ask are – does the User want to share a picture of the products with their friends or want to see a history of all the items they have purchased in the past? Such questions will help the product team understand what they are supposed to create. 

A common mistake that appears at this stage is presenting a solution. However, a User Story should not come with a solution. As a Product Developer, you should work with users when writing User Stories in Jira to capture their requirements but avoid jumping to conclusions. 

The need is represented as, “As a [USER NAME]: I can [ACHIEVE SOMETHING]….”

For example, “As a landlord: I can see the breakdown of monthly rent collection…..”

#3. There should be a qualifying statement

You can simply present the qualifying statement with a phrase such as “so that”. A feature is not just added to an app, but that feature should add value. 

You can present the qualifying statement as;

“As a [USERNAME] I can [ACHIEVE SOMETHING], so that [VALUE STATEMENT]…”

For example;

“As a landlord: I can see the breakdown of monthly rent collection so that I can plan my expenses.”

The qualifying statement justifies why the product team should work on the proposed feature. 

#4. A User Story should be independent

Every User Story created should represent an independent and distinct set of business values. Thus, there should be incremental value when the developers implement the User Story.

#5. Make the User Story negotiable 

The end goal of a User Story can be clearly described. However, the process of achieving the set goals should be negotiable. The User Story should allow the Product Owner and the Development team to negotiate to prevent unrealistic constraints on the functionality or the feature. 

#6. Should be simple and small

You should make your User Stories in Jira small if you want to achieve the goals within the given sprint cycle. If you have a story that is too complex, that is an indication that you need to break it down further. 

Step-by-step process of creating a user story in Jira

Jira is one of the best Project Management tools in the modern world. Jira was originally used for bug and issue tracking but has now evolved into an all-around agile software development tool for development teams. 

The neat functionality of this app and the ease of integration with various apps are reasons you should be writing User Stories in Jira. Follow these steps to create your first User Story

#1. Login to/ create your Jira account

If you already have a Jira account, log in and move to step 2. However, if you don’t have a Jira account, you can create a Jira account for free. Fill out the details and follow the tutorials to set up your first project. Once your account is ready, you can now go to step 2.

#2. Create an Issue

Issues are used to track individual pieces of work that must be completed. Click on the ‘Create’ icon on the top navigation bar of your Jira dashboard.

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#3. State your User Story

Describe your issue in the description section. For this example, our description is “As a user, I would like to share important deals so that my friends/ family can benefit.”

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#4. Attach associated files

Some tasks may require files. However, our User Story does not have an image, so we will skip that step. 

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#5. Add a description

This section describes the feature in detail. In our case, we can describe the social media platforms where products can be shared. 

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#6. Assign the task

The task is automatically assigned to the Story’s creator. However, you can assign the issue to another person if you are working as a team. 

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#7. Set Task Priority 

When writing User Stories in Jira, you can set the priority as Highest, High, Low, or Lowest. We have selected “High” for our social media sharing feature. 

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#8. Publish the User Story

Since you are creating the User Story for the first time, you won’t have a lot of features. You can hit the “Create” button, and your User Story will be ready for viewing. 

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Wrapping Up

Writing User Stories in Jira does not have to be hard when you follow the above steps. Jira also has guides and tutorials you can always refer to when you feel stuck.

You may also be interested in this Guide to Agile Methodolgy.