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User Stories: Getting to Ready

User stories are a popular way of driving just-in-time requirements engineering in Agile product development. As Product Backlog items they are small and finely detailed at the top of the list of things still to be done, but are much more coarse-grained and vague further down. Backlog refinement is the process of splitting stories and adding requirements information to the point that they can be taken into a development episode (in Scrum, a Sprint) and turned into a potentially shippable increment. The development team’s backlog for the Sprint also requires that they be decomposed further into work items for team members. Managing Backlogs in this way, and splitting stories so that they can be implemented in time boxes is a learned skill, requiring the decomposition of requirements in new ways. This course provides Agile team members with the skills to do this effectively through immersive work on a case study, as well as information transfer from an expert Agile instructor.

Who Will Benefit

  • While Product Owners, Product Managers and Business Analysts can benefit most from this course, it is also useful for Scrum Masters, Agile coaches and Agile Development team members such as programmers and testers

Learning Objectives

You Will Learn How To:

  • Seed Product Backlogs with epic stories derived from a Product Vision
  • Plan releases using story maps
  • Decompose stories using a variety of techniques
  • Create work items small enough to fit into an inspect-and-adapt cycle



  • Attendees should have a basic familiarity with Agile concepts and/or Scrum which may have been gained from courses such as Agile Fundamentals Training, or Scrum Alliance certification courses such as Certified ScrumMaster® Certification Training and CSPO® Certification Training: Certified Scrum Product Owner®
  • While it is not a pre-requisite, this course is a smooth transition for those attendees who have taken Effective User Stories

Course Content

Course Outline

Product Backlog Overview

  • User stories as Product Backlog items
  • Lifecycle of a story
  • INVESTing in “good” user stories
  • User stories v ‘Technical’ stories

Creating and Maintaining a Product Vision

  • Using impact maps to focus on outcomes
  • Relating Release goals and Sprint Goals to the Product vision

Product Backlog Refinement

  • Using story maps for release planning
  • Drilling down through acceptance criteria
  • Architectural approaches to story splitting
  • Using the ‘hamburger technique’ to support iteration

Managing the Iteration Backlog (a.k.a Sprint Backlog)

  • Defining ‘Ready’
  • Identifying Sprint Backlog items
  • Tracking progress with Burndown and Scrum Boards
  • Creating a virtual team to support the Product Owner

Exams & Certification

This course is approved by PMI® for 11 professional development units (PDUs). For more on the Project Management Institute and a full list of courses approved for PDUs.

Technical : 11 PDUs

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Virtual Classroom

Virtual classrooms provide all the benefits of attending a classroom course without the need to arrange travel and accomodation. Please note that virtual courses are attended in real-time, commencing on a specified date.

Virtual Course Dates

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