Agile Book Club: User Stories (with Bill Wake)

User stories. Possibly more ink has been spilled on this topic than any other aspect of Agile. In this session, we take a close look at user stories: how to create, split, and use them. We’re joined by Bill Wake, an agile coach who is known for the INVEST acronym for user stories, the Arrange-Act-Assert TDD pattern, and for articles at

📖 Stories

🎙 Discussion prompts:

  • As Alistair Cockburn says, stories are “promissory notes for future conversation.” And yet many organizations use stories as a form of documentation instead. What are the pros and cons of this approach?

  • The Connextra template for stories (“as an X I want Y so that Z”) has a lot of adherents. Do you have a preferred template? Why or why not?

  • Splitting stories so that they’re both small and customer-centric takes a lot of practice. What are your favorite techniques for splitting stories?

  • If you could magically change just one thing about the way organizations approach user stories, what would it be?

About the Book Club

The Art of Agile Development Book Club takes place Fridays from 8:00 – 8:45am Pacific. Each session uses an excerpt from the new edition of my book, The Art of Agile Development, as a jumping-off point for a wide-ranging discussion about Agile ideas and practices.

Visit the event page for more information, including an archive of past sessions. For more about the book, visit the Art of Agile Development home page.

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