Innovation has become worn jargon in the market today. We use it widely, sometimes inappropriately, but the point is it is the main challenge for companies of all areas.
In a competitive world, innovative processes can determine marketing leaders, and innovative products can grant leadership for some time (until they get surpassed or imitated).
But there’s one more essential aspect to ensure sustainable and successful innovation for your business: developing innovation that’s valuable to your customers and clients.
The fact is that most companies, mainly small businesses, have no idea how to start this process.
To make innovation possible, companies and industries today are using a resource called User Stories. They are a feature for the software industry and later adopted by all business areas. Their goal is to investigate, record, and send information on customers forward to designers and developers.
They intend to make the user-based information flow constantly, so all collaborators that are in touch with customers or contribute to their experience can add short objective requirements to products and services.
What are User Stories?
User Stories are descriptions of customers’ and collaborators’ needs and requests that lead to creativity, innovation, product, and services improvements. They are one of the top Agile elements in GitScrum project management tools.
User Stories is undoubtedly the most used tool to raise agile requirements. Regardless of the Agile Method, you use, that is, it doesn’t matter if it’s Kanban, Scrum, XP, Lean Startup, etc. There will always be a list of user stories.
They emerged in XP (extreme programming) in the late ’80s, where their main objective was to represent the user’s desire for some functionality. In addition to representing a wish, user stories should also be easy to prioritize.
It is a fact that like other XP techniques such as TDD and Pair-Programming the user stories have also become widespread in almost all agile methodologies.
Today they are undoubted of great importance to any Product Owner but does every Product Owner or Product Manager know how to write a good user story?
User Stories is the ideal feature for
- Evolution and growth based on user experience (UX): you can write user stories based on messages and requests from customers, but also researches about their behavioral trends, aiming to improve their experience with your brand;
- Increasing capacity with Gamification of Work: this feature encourages workers (developers, UX designers, engineers, Scrum team…) to write stories requesting improvements on work tools. So they’ll perform gradually better each day and become competitive more;
- Requests of product reviews and new services: anyone in your team can identify product and services needs of reviews, besides groups of volunteers for product tests and counselors;
- Summarizing relevant customer feedback: since your company may have many communication channels open to customers, it’s recommendable that the marketing or customer service team sums up the most relevant feedback, order them, and send them forward to the developing team;
- Discovering what’s more relevant to users: instead of developing products according to suppositions, all these sources above will help you discover and organize your customers’ and buyer personas’ values and priorities. This way, you can eliminate expensive items they don’t care about and focus on what matters to them.
How to write it – See some examples
User Story was written by a Real Estate broker/agent – client standpoint:
“Karen (35), as a single renter, would like to have more options of surety bond, so I don’t need a personal guarantor.”
User Story was written by a School Manager – client standpoint:
“Grace (41), as a parent, would like to monitor her children’s routine and educational progress online on a Board, so she can be aware of their progress.”
User Story was written by a Travel Agent – client standpoint:
“Ann Marie (52), as a traveler, would like to interact with her agent online over her trip script, so she can arrange changes faster.”
User Story was written by a Software Developer – client standpoint:
“Jules (21), as a retail ERP user, would like to finish the charging process in fewer steps, so he can offer better customer service.”
User Story was written from an Industry – collaborator standpoint:
Tim (28) – “As a product tester, I need to send reports faster to my managers, so increments requests don’t accumulate.”
User Story was written by a UX Designer – collaborator standpoint:
Ashley (27) – “As a UX designer, I need to add the customers’ category included on my tasks requests, as a task custom field, so I can understand my demands better.”
Anyone in your team can write User Stories to catch the best opportunities in the market. It is an excellent exercise to realize your customers’ needs and demands and receive their feedback easily.
What is essential for using it?
Since you know most of the process to get information from your clients, User Stories are essentially your ally to manage your mistakes and successes.
The user experience is gaining increasing relevance in various sectors of industry and commerce. This movement does not occur from the scratch. There are a series of transformations in models by need.
In software development and project management, this trend continues. These days, it’s virtually impossible to start planning without thinking about a detailed user story.
As this is a very important topic, we prepared this content. With it, you’ll understand what these stories are, how they work, and in what ways they can help.
Benefits of having User Stories for innovation
Knowing the user stories is essential for the project for better development. This is because it significantly increases the chances of the final product reaching the goals of users who will use it in their routines.
User stories are also useful because they summarize the interests of a large number of people in a single perspective. Also, it makes it easier for the responsible team to understand their tasks. Furthermore, they are a very simple communication pattern, which avoids noise among different members. With characters and goals, it is feasible to detail relevant demands about the desired features.
For this, the commitment and dedication of the PO are essential to achieving a successful delivery. Also in this scope, communication and interaction with the team, as well as validation of deliverables, should be the main priorities for completing a Sprint.
Finally, User Stories are an essential tool to carry out good project management. In simple phrases, it contributes to an agile development environment being able to originate user-centric products.
Is it part of a Scrum framework?
In agile development methods, User Stories are a feature that plays an important role. The customer’s needs are more easily direct to the team.
To structure them and put them into practice, it is necessary for the entire team to dialogue. Also, define the activities that will carry out according to the order of priority. Thus, there is a way to develop the function reported in the user story. This allows the team to be able to visualize the processes and work simultaneously to streamline deliveries.
As they serve to assess the team’s understanding and performance, the stories must have an estimation in hours. So that it is possible to know the effort involved in the execution.
What is necessary to put use this tool into practice?
In the Scrum methodology, specifically, if the story is not within the estimated Sprint, it is necessary to promote analysis. Therefore, you have to check if the writing was not clear enough or if the score was overestimated.
With this practice, it is possible to identify if the team has difficulties when the execution depends on other areas. Broadly, these observations aid in implementing continuous improvement and innovation by employing development models.
Keep in mind that the Product Owner should write the stories as soon as they talk to customers. It is not necessary to enter technical information, but the refinement with the team. The involved and dependent areas must gather the means that they will use during the execution.
Have a better UX with GitScrum!
Do you need a better approach with your customers? GitScrum has its own User Stories to help you have honest feedback from them and create improvements for better solutions.