I'm working on a project which runs as a process, on a regular basis. The results of the projects daily run are used by other projects. This brings me to question how our team writes stories.

The normal format, As a [role] I want [goal/desire] so that [reason] does not seem to apply, but at the same time I'm doubting that.

This is what we do now: The system shall execute after process ABC has finished successfully.

Should we be using the other projects (that utilize the data from our process) as the role portion of the stories? What we do now just seems too much like requirements..

  • 2
    I think you're overthinking this. First, there's always a customer (even if the customer is yourself), so it's not like the roles don't exist. Second, The system shall execute after process ABC has finished successfully is a perfectly valid way to describe a story, requirement, or whatever you want to call it. – Robert Harvey Jan 11 '13 at 22:22

The key of the As-a-So-That-I-want story template is simply to remind you that you need to know WHO, WHAT and most importantly WHY of your user story. You can pretty much use any format you like as long as you can capture those elements.

For internal project, if all of your WHO is the same person for whatever reason, it might be silly to just keep writing the same thing over and over so if I were you I will just omit it.

However, the typical system-shall-do-this format mostly capture WHAT and not WHY. Make sure you do not omit that.

  • Definately. Why them to death: why, why, why, why, why...or until it reasonably resembles something that directly promotes or speaks to an aspect of a common business value (or something else that is otherwise specific to the business unit in your case): time (faster), money (cheaper), quality (usability, reliability, maintainable), and awareness (market-share, pre-orders, first-to-market, etc). This applies even to internal efforts or cost-centers (as opposed to profit centers) to make sure you aren't just spinning your wheels going no where fast. – JustinC Jan 14 '13 at 23:26
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    Why them to death sounds much more interesting than just 5 Whys! :D – Kulawat The Eidos Jan 15 '13 at 4:11

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