July 7, 2020

Agile User Story Splitting by Data Variations and Boundaries

Post by: Rachael Wilterdink

Data is another great way to approach splitting User Stories.

Variations in data would be something like different options for language or location. Stories based on data boundaries are those that have different attributes for the same entity.

Data Variations

Let’s revisit my fictional Recipe app. If you recall, we added the ability to view suggested adult beverage pairings with each of our recipes (for grown-ups only). Now I have decided to add a wine search option, and I want users to be able to search by entrée type, grape varietal, or by country. The big story I will be breaking down is:

I could split this out into stories as follows:

Data Boundaries

An example of splitting stories by data boundaries could be different parts of a Recipe. The big story for this would be:

The first story might only contain a few pieces of information about a Recipe, perhaps the name of it, and a brief description. Subsequent stories would add more pieces of information for a recipe. Here are some examples:

As you can see, these are both very straight-forward and logical ways to split out User Stories.

But, as always, don’t stop your analysis there.

Questions to ask:

  • What data variations are needed to start with? Do you need them all, or could you start with a sub-set?
  • What are the most common options that you need to care about?
  • What data elements are most essential to making your story valuable?
  • Are there any data elements you can leave out?

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