This week I took a bit of a deep dive into User Stories. I went to the AgileTO meetup on Splitting User Stories. I’m also participating in an Agile Mentorship group where we are looking at User Stories, backlog refinement and sprint planning.
I bring a lean-startup perspective to looking at Agile, in some ways my innovation bias.
I can’t help look at the User Story as being a form of Value Proposition. Or re-framed, the Value Proposition being a company’s over-reaching umbrella Agile Epic.
They take the same format: for user/customer I want/we do something so that a value outcome is realized. The User Story adds on Acceptance Criteria – conditions the user wants to see to consider it achieved.
A difference is that the VP in the early discovery phase is more problem based than solution based. In Scrum language – it’s really a Spike at that point. Though evolves to be the solution based vision.
In contrast the User Story is firmly grounded in the solution. There is room for discovery – but with containment.
Founders can learn from User Stories by considering what is their acceptance criteria, actually a buyer’s criteria. The ultimate test case for whether a Value Proposition is accepted is when a customer buys into the vision and sees the value.