How to break requirements into user-stories

It’s easy to talk in terms of the user-stories but when it comes to create them, it may be a daunting task to break features into smaller functional chunks. This is not very specific to Agile only as the same can be practised in Waterfall projects too. There it helps in identifying and prioritising the smaller chunks of the functionalities which essentially provide business value within short span of time.


The presentation is mainly for people who are moving away from waterfall and adopting Agile. The problem is changing the functional-specification specific mindset into one which could think and appreciate smaller functional chunks. For these people, thinking in terms of smaller user-stories becomes a challenge. This presentation aims to help them. At the same time, it’s useful for people who already work in Agile projects.

ShriKant Vashishtha is an enterprise Agile Coach, IT strategist, trainer, thinker and hands-on geek. He is passionate towards enterprise Agile transformation, quality aspect of software development including TDD, refactoring, Continuous Delivery, DevOps and Test Automation. He can be reached at

Posted in Agile, Agile Adoption
3 comments on “How to break requirements into user-stories
  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I stumbled on your blog for the first time. I like the sanskrit name 🙂

  2. Li says:

    In theory, stories should be independent; in practice, you may not be able to just implement them in whatever order you like (which is stated in your explanation for “Independent”).

    For example, in your slide 11, it would be very difficult to implement (and test) “I can cancel my account”, or “I can edit my account settings”, before your user story “I can sign up for an account” is implemented.

  3. ShriKant Vashishtha says:

    It depends on the perspective. First of all in your example, it’s possible to implement the “cancel account” independent of edit or create story.

    Only thing is – you may need to enter the data manually in the database or mock the data with other means. When we say Independent, we always strive to make user-stories independent. The reason is – multiple developers should be able to work without any dependency in a team. However in reality it may not be possible all the times.

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