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INVEST for writing user stories

Basic

difficulty

Stage 1

Agile IQ® Level

Backlog Items

Practices

Introduction

The acronym INVEST helps to remember a widely accepted set of criteria, or checklist, to assess the quality of a backlog item.

If the backlog item fails to meet one of these criteria, the team may want to reword it, or even consider a rewrite (which often translates into physically tearing up the old story card and writing a new one).

I.N.V.E.S.T

Written well, an item in the Product Backlog has the following characteristics:

  • “I” ndependent (of all others)
  • “N” egotiable (not a specific contract for features)
  • “V” aluable (or vertically sliced)
  • “E” stimable (to a good approximation)
  • “S” mall (so as to fit within an iteration)
  • “T” estable (in principle, even if there isn’t a test for it yet)
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