User Story & Use Case: Differences

User story and Use Cases are two completely different terms in agile methodology, although they are both used by either the product or project managers to identify user goals, and Yes, they are also used in requirement gathering from the users, they are two different terminologies.

What is a User Story

 ⁣A user story is a short description of how the user will interact with the product. Each one should be prioritized by importance to get the right mix of functionality. This is the key to fast software delivery to meet customer needs. It is the building block for creating features for users; they’re simply a means of describing a phase we’ll be implementing that will provide some form of value and functionality to the end-user. User stories are used by a product manager to communicate product needs or features to the team, they are also a straightforward method to capture requirements at a high degree of detail while focusing on user goals, which is why they’re so good at helping you figure out what’s important to your users. A user story should be simple and concise with no technical jargon.

A user story is usually written in the following format:

 As an [actor] I want [action] so that [achievement].

“As a small business owner, I want to create an invoice so that I can bill a customer”.

The product managers or product owners and the team can analyze the quality of a user story using the acronym INVEST, which is a checklist for a widely acknowledged set of criteria. The team may consider reworking a user narrative if it fails to meet one of these requirements. As a result, a good user story should consist of the following elements:

  • Independent: Stories should be self-contained and not reliant on other stories.
  • Negotiable: The core of the requirement should be captured in the story, not a contract on how to accomplish it.
  • Valuable: It must provide value to the users 
  • Estimable: The information in stories should be just enough to allow for estimation. It isn’t necessary to understand how a problem will be solved in detail. It simply has to be grasped at a high level to generate an estimate.
  • Size: It cannot be either too large or too little to be considered inconsequential.
  • Testable: it must be testable (it is not cast in stone)

There are a lot of AI tools that help the product team to write simple user stories and visualize the bigger picture while keeping all user stories elements in perspective.

For a better understanding of use cases, keep an eye out for part 2.

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