Agile Glossary

User Story Template

What is User Story Template?

A user story template is a common format used to write user stories that help you include key pieces of information about that user story.

One particular template, often referred to as “As a… I want to… So That…” is the most commonly recommended aid (often outgrown once past the novice stage) for teams and product owners starting to work with user stories and product backlog items in general:

  • As a (who wants to accomplish something)
  • I want to (what they want to accomplish)
  • So that (why they want to accomplish that thing)

An example:

  • As a bank customer
  • I want to withdraw money from an ATM
  • So that I’m not constrained by opening hours or lines at the teller’s

Also Known As

Another name is the “Connextra format”, in recognition of its origins (see below).

Expected Benefits

This template serves as “training wheels”, reminding people in conversation about user stories to pay attention not just to “what” the desired software product is to do, but also “for whom” it does it and in pursuit of “what objectives”.

Common Pitfalls

Many novice teams fall into rote application of this or some other user story format. In fact, such formats are intended more as checklists. A more relaxed phrasing is often just as effective at communicating the overall intent of a user story. Since the greatest amount of detail about a user story will in any case arise in conversation between members of the team, often quite sometime after initially writing a story card, spending much effort and time on complying with user story templates is without much point.

Origins

  • 2001: the “role-feature-reason” format for expressing user stories is invented at Connextra in the UK
Add to Bookmarks Remove Bookmark
Add to Bookmarks Remove from Bookmarks
Add to Bookmarks Remove from Bookmarks

Thank you to our Annual Partners​

Join us today!

Agile Alliance offers many online and in-person events and workshops for our members. If you’re not currently a member, you can join now for just $49 per year.

Get the latest Agile news!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By subscribing, you acknowledge the Agile Alliance Privacy Policy, and agree to receive our emails.

Additional Agile Glossary Terms

An acceptance test is a formal description of the behavior of a software product, generally expressed as an example or a usage scenario. A number of different notations and approaches have been proposed for such examples or scenarios.
Test-driven development (TDD) is a style of programming where coding, testing, and design are tightly interwoven. Benefits include reduction in defect rates.
The team meets regularly to reflect on the most significant events that occurred since the previous such meeting, and identify opportunities for improvement.
A product backlog is a list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome.
An acceptance test is a formal description of the behavior of a software product, generally expressed as an example or a usage scenario. A number of different notations and approaches have been proposed for such examples or scenarios.
Test-driven development (TDD) is a style of programming where coding, testing, and design are tightly interwoven. Benefits include reduction in defect rates.
The team meets regularly to reflect on the most significant events that occurred since the previous such meeting, and identify opportunities for improvement.

Help us keep the definitions updated

Discover the many benefits of membership

Your membership enables Agile Alliance to offer a wealth of first-rate resources, present renowned international events, support global community groups, and more — all geared toward helping Agile practitioners reach their full potential and deliver innovative, Agile solutions.

Not yet a member? Sign up now

Member Dues are Increasing on March 1, 2024
Member Dues are Increasing March 1, 2024

Renew your Membership
or Sign-up Now and Save!

Effective March 1, 2024, select membership levels will see a slight increase in dues, a change from our temporary reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic to support our community. Read more about the changes here.