User Stories – One Story To Rule Them All

One User Story

One User Story, Multiple Roles

When creating users stories, you might find on occasion they can become quite complicated, especially when you are dealing with multiple use cases; for example back office admins, customer functionality, different clients.

Lets take a very basic example

“As a premium customer, I want to be able to access the online shop.”

“As a standard customer, I want to be able to access the online shop.”

One User Story

Ok, so this is a basic example; but you get the idea. In this example there are two user stories explaining the same requirement – just from different roles.

This should not count as two user stories, and definitely there should not be two user stories in your backlog that detail the same functionality.

These user stories can be merged into something like:

“As a member of the website, I want to be able to access the online shop.”

We do not need a separate user story, because we are not defining what different things might be available to the different customers once they access the online shop. This for sure can be handled with two user stories.

How to Know When to Merge?

As a basic rule, when creating user stories, remember that a user story should be a usable piece of functionality, and represent all the work that needs to be done. If no additional development is needed (like the example above), then they should be merged, since in this case both customers will access the online store in the same way.

Other user stories will then come based on the customer level and their interaction with the online store, for example:

“As a premium customer, I want to be able to access the premium items section.”

“As a premium customer, I want to be able to input my discount code”


Ashley-Christian Hardy
Process hacker, optimizer and team motivator. Blogging my ideas, initiatives and innovations. Certified Scrum Master/ Product Owner & Agile Project Manager

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