The template: As a [who/role], I want [what] so that [why]

The "why" is optional, but often useful.

As a Manager, I want to create employee schedules

As an Employee, I want to see everyone's schedules so I can arrange shift swaps

As an Analyst, I need to be able to view people's timesheet data in various ways so that I can better understand where work bottlenecks come from

Why They Work

  • They're written by stakeholders, typically users.
  • They quickly capture what users want, in their own words.
  • They aren't a feature specification. They are the beginning of a discussion.
  • If it's important enough for you (the user) to want, it's important enough for you to add a story

What If It's a Big Idea?

User stories often start as big ideas (epics). After discussion, they'll get split into smaller stories that can be better estimated and worked on.

Three Steps in a User Story

  1. Write the initial story (the value)
  2. Discuss the story and capture the discussion
  3. Determine acceptance criteria as needed

A user story is done when its acceptance criteria is met.


Value (or Title) As a Manager, I want to create employee schedules


  • What's involved in this?
  • How would it be done on paper?
  • How is it being done today?

A schedule includes employee name, id, date, from time, and to time.

[mm] I've found that the handwritten schedules end up being changed a lot due to employees swapping shifts, or being sick. All those changes make the schedule hard to read. So, it'd be great to easily reprint the schedule.

[hg] It sounds like how to print or display schedules should be a new story. What if we used kiosks instead of paper? Or maybe an app employees could view on their phones.

[ss] There needs to be control over who can change my schedules.

Acceptance Criteria
Initially, the scheduler system should:

  • Show an entire week
  • Add employee to a day and shift
  • Show employee total hours
  • Allow easy changing of who's working a shift
  • Allow easy swapping of employee shifts
  • Print a schedule

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