Better User Stories

Discover and Deliver What Customers Really Want

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Who is it for?

This course has been designed for:

AGILE COACHES

Contribute your skills and provide invaluable input when writing better user stories.

SCRUM
MASTERS

Help your team identify and write the best user stories.

PRODUCT
OWNERS

Build, prioritize and maintain a product backlog of strong user stories.

The 9 modules of Better User Stories

Meet Mike Cohn

One of the industry's most well respected Certified Scrum Trainers (CST)

Learn Scrum and agile processes directly from Mike Cohn, one of the industry's most well respected Certified Scrum Trainers (CST). Mike Cohn is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile. He is a co-founder and former board member of the Scrum Alliance, and a co-founder of the non-profit Agile Alliance, home of the Agile Manifesto.

© 2018 Mountain Goat Software

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We've made it easy for busy schedules...

Meet Mike Cohn

One of the industry's most well respected Certified Scrum Trainers (CST)

Learn Scrum and agile processes directly from Mike Cohn, one of the most well respected Certified Scrum Trainers (CST). Mike Cohn is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile. He is a co-founder and former board member of the Scrum Alliance, and a co-founder of the non-profit Agile Alliance, home of the Agile Manifesto.

Better User Stories

Discover and Deliver What Customers Really Want

AGILE TEAM
MEMBERS

Contribute your skills and provide valuable input when writing better user stories.

BUSINESS ANALYSTS

Help identify and convey what users and stakeholders really need from a product.

Got a question?
Find your answer below

How is the course delivered?

Better User Stories is delivered through streaming videos plus downloadable files such as transcripts, course slides, worksheets, infographic posters, cheat sheets, and other handouts. Also included are MP3 files of every lesson.

What happens after I purchase Better User Stories?

You will receive an email with full login and registration instructions. You will be automatically enrolled in the course and able to access the course immediately.

Can I share the videos with my team or group?

Each license is for one person. You cannot share the videos, audio files, worksheets, or transcripts with others. You can, of course, share what you’ve learned with others.

How do I buy additional licenses for my team?

We offer group licenses at a discount. After purchasing multiple licenses, you will receive an email containing one redemption code per license purchased. You then distribute one code to each person you’d like to participate in the course. For large groups, we can handle this for you. And we can accept purchase orders as payment for groups of 10 or more. Contact us at hello@mountaingoatsoftware.com  for assistance with group purchases. 

What if the course isn’t right for me?

If you’re not happy, we’re not happy. We want you to feel confident about enrolling in Better User Stories so we offer a full, 30-day money-back guarantee. Just email us within the first 30 days, and we’ll give you a full refund.

How do I get a refund?

Email us at hello@mountaingoatsoftware.com  and we’ll process your refund within a day or two (usually immediately).

How long will I have access to Better User Stories?

You have lifetime access. There are no recurring or subscription fees.

What if I have more questions?

Contact us anytime at hello@mountaingoatsoftware.com. We will be happy to assist or answer any additional questions.

What browsers are supported? Can I watch on my phone or tablet?

Better User Stories supports browsers that support HTML 5 such as recent versions of Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox. IE 9 and above are also supported. The course also works great on modern iOS and Android devices.

Better User Stories is an advanced, in-depth video course suitable for beginners and experienced agile practitioners. Through the 9 modules and course materials you can transform the way your team (or teams) write user stories.

“You could sit down for 15-20 minutes and get what felt like a day's workshop."

- Jim P. Southern California

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“I think learning from someone who wrote the book on the topic is priceless... Great course. I will definitely be referencing it over and over again.”

- Aaron Corcoran

“As a lifelong learner, and someone who has to reach many diverse audiences, it is important that I constantly add 'new arrows to my quiver'. The tidbits and anecdotes are great 'mental thumbtacks' for recalling important elements on the path to success writing, using and managing work using User Stories.”

- Travis Reed

“Mike is an amazing story teller with the unique ability of making esoteric topics such as user stories magically come to life.”

- Eugene Nikomba

It's hard to find the time to invest in new training so we've made it easy for you to benefit from the course without putting everything else on hold: 

Lifetime access - Order today, learn when you're ready

3-10 minute lessons - Sharpen your skills on a coffee break

Easy access - From your computer, phone, or tablet

You can also...

Download worksheets to apply the lessons to your specific work project.

Get transcripts for every lesson to read and make notes.

Download all slides to help coach others.

“I now have the tools to use user stories when appropriate and know what to use instead if a user story is not appropriate... I really enjoyed the worksheets that forced me to use my own backlog as practice to cement the concepts in my brain. It's way too easy to go through an online course and not really retain information that is useful later but that's what made it real for me.” 

- Sarah Fraser

This module walks you through why user stories are so important, and looks at some of the key functions that are too often overlooked. This is the perfect refresher of the important foundations of user stories, and makes a great communication tool for explaining their importance to team members and stakeholders.

Many complex projects need to service the needs of multiple users. The sheer amount of variables within and across different users makes this a challenge. This module shows you how to clearly define stories for different user groups without getting bogged down in too much detail, or missing key functionality.

If you don’t know how to run a successful story-writing workshop you can end up with an expensive, time-wasting exercise that doesn’t tell you how to deliver what a customer really wants. This module guides you step-by-step in how to run a great workshop so you can highlight gaps, prioritize tasks and choose only the stories that must be present to achieve the minimum viable product.

There is a systematic way of making sure that you have enough detail, at the right time without stifling creativity. In this module you'll solve the confusion around Epics and Themes. You'll learn practical approached for adding details including knowing when to stop and how to handle a team that wants too much detail. You'll also be able to stop stories from turning into non-agile stage-gate placeholders.

The INVEST acronym: Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimatable, Sized Appropriately and Testable is an invaluable tool for writing a strong user story. The challenge is knowing how to practically apply all of the individual elements. This module breaks down each one so that the process is clear, increasing the chance that teams adopt the method, and write stories that meet all the criteria.

This entire module is devoted to the most vexing and time-consuming issues surrounding splitting stories. One of the biggest problems is making sense of the myriad of advice on this subject. You don’t need 20 different ways to split a story, you need a focused, proven and practical method. The SPIDR approach looks at the most critical and valuable channels for splitting stories. This means you and your team can bring stories into an iteration that can be completed independently, and show meaningful progress to stakeholders.

This troubleshooting module covers the most common problems I’ve helped teams overcome. From spending too much time splitting stories, adding too much detail, to managing the need for a requirements document. This module helps you eliminate issues as they arise, making it easier to transition teams and make them more comfortable in adopting user stories.

User stories seem simple. But because they are not lengthy documents with an endless checklist of requirements, teams run the risk of misinterpreting the rules. The result can be creating user stories that aren’t actually user stories. They may be feature lists, or job stories, bugs or non-functional requirements. These subjects are important to a project, but you need to handle them in the correct way to avoid problems further down the line.

In this final module, we’ll review the course and look at how you can apply what you’ve learned going forward.

Looking for discounts on group sales?

Click here to find out about licenses for your company.

Is the course different from Mike's User Stories Applied book?

Yes, very much so. Mike's User Stories Applied was published in 2004. While it was Mike's best thinking on user stories at the time, we've all learned a lot about how to best work with user stories since then. This course includes all of the latest thinking from Mike and other agile experts on user stories.

Can we watch as a group?

Yes, in fact we encourage you to do so. However, the course is licensed individually so each person watching needs to own a license. Think of it like a movie theater: If four of you go to a movie together, you each buy a ticket. If you do intend to watch as a group, you may to take advantage of our group pricing.

Is this course certified? Do I get a certificate?

Upon completion of the course you get a certificate of completion via email.

Do the videos have captions?

Yes, our course videos include English-language captions.

"The ‘definitive authority’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Mike Cohn and User Stories.

As an agile trainer, I frequently refer my clients to Mike’s Better User Stories course as a cost-effective, high-value way to significantly improve their personnel’s user story writing skills.

Take this course and learn from the best!"

- Ken Rubin 

Agile trainer, coach, and author of the #1 bestseller: Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process

Increase velocity 

Engage your team 

Split ANY epic

And deliver more value... faster

What can you do with Better User Stories?

Develop skills that are desperately needed today

The adoption of user stories is rapidly increasing, but companies struggle to get them right. Savvy agilists are seizing this opportunity to specialize in user stories. When you're the person who can make user stories work for any team, and any organization, you're a vital (and valuable) asset. 

Stay focused on the end-user to deliver the BEST solution

Too often, teams focus on the 'how' instead of the 'why'. They write user stories with vague, vanilla value statements and skip straight to the tasks they think need to be done. Better User Stories shows you how to coach others (persuasively) to stay focused on the end-user value in each user story. This makes your team much more likely to deliver something stakeholders will love. 

Ramp up velocity with a different approach to splitting...

Can you really split stories that can be completed in an iteration, but aren't so small that they leave stakeholders underwhelmed? Yes... but it requires an approach that is new to many agile teams. This course shows you exactly how to split any story without hours of discussion. You'll also know how many stories you should have per person, how to tell if your stories are too small (and when you should stop splitting), and whether you might need a longer iteration to complete them.  

What's included when you join?

Instant access to all 9 Modules

Workbooks, quizzes, and lesson transcripts and MP3 files

60+ professionally recorded videos (English captions available)

10 Category B SEUs and 10 Category B PDUs

Over 6 hours of content

30 day money-back guarantee

Plus lifetime access to all materials and all lessons designed and delivered by Mike Cohn

JOIN TODAY

Module 1: What Stories Are

Module 2: Users, User Roles and Personas

Module 3: Story-Mapping and Story-Writing Workshops

Module 4: Adding Detail with Conditions of Satisfaction of Acceptance Criteria

Module 5: INVEST in Good Stories

Module 6: Splitting Stories

Module 7: Overcoming Common Problems

Module 8: Things That Are Not User Stories

Module 9: Wrap Up and Review

Eliminate endless rework with a step-by-step writing system

Does your Product Owner write user stories only for the development team to ignore them? Is precious time wasted on revisions because of missing features? Better User Stories gives you a systematic approach to writing user stories that combine the stakeholder vision AND the technical perspective needed to deliver it. Finally you can answer all questions about who should write them, how you should write them, how often and when, and most importantly - how to get everyone invested in writing user stories (without standing on a soap box).

Finally answer the question of "How much detail?!"

Adding detail to user stories creates a multitude of problems: how do you stop vague one-line descriptions that stall progress? Should you spend hours pinning down scope so the team isn't blamed if something gets missed? With this course you'll learn how to write stories that are detailed enough to start quickly, but broad enough so the team can unleash their creativity when delivering the solution.

PLUS:  download audio files for any lesson to listen when it suits you

“By far the best course I have had since I started my agile journey back in 2008.” 

- Anne Aaroe

“Absolutely the best bang for buck I have ever spent in 'training', I think anyone on an agile team using User Stories would benefit from this class.” 

- Doug Tooley

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9 core modules

Workbooks, quizzes and additional handouts and resources

Transcripts and MP3 files of all video lessons

Lifetime access to course materials

Free upgrades for life

10 SEUs and PDUs

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$395

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