Better User Stories

Discover and Deliver What Customers Really Want

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Do You Recognize These Challenges?

• Not knowing what user stories really are, and how to communicate this to team members

• Relying on intuition and experience to write and split stories instead of a   systematic approach

• Struggling to know how much detail to include, and when to add this

• Dealing with Conditions of Satisfaction and Acceptance Criteria

• Finding a way to split stories to be valuable and deliverable in an iteration

• Spending too much time writing user stories at the cost of developing something

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It’s no surprise that user stories are critical to the agile process. When a team works together to create consistent, high-quality, correctly sized and detailed stories, you can:

• Encourage meaningful conversations, increase collaboration, and reduce friction

• Demonstrate real value to stakeholders with each and every iteration

• Deliver the right products to market, on time, and delight your customers

• Estimate with much greater accuracy

Unfortunately, most agile teams struggle to write user stories that are valuable to stakeholders and developers.

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.

Better User Stories Is Delivered Over 9 Modules

Choose How You Want To Learn

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

PROFESSIONAL

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

$395

BUY NOW

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

12-month membership in the private Agile Mentors Community including live Q&A calls with Mike Cohn plus access to recorded Q&A calls from other sessions

$495

EXPERT ACCESS

BUY NOW

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

12-month membership in the private Agile Mentors Community including live Q&A calls with Mike Cohn plus access to recorded Q&A calls from other sessions

A private, 50-minute call with Mike 

$1475

WORK WITH MIKE

BUY NOW

What Makes The Course Different?

Better User Stories isn’t just a one-off course. It’s a training companion to support you throughout your agile career: increasing your skills, confidence, and value in your position.

Members are surprised
at just how much material you get
(that you can keep forever)

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.

Find out why agile practitioners around the world say it's the best user stories training they've ever taken.

“Thank you for an amazing course. Better User Stories is by far the best course I have had since I started my agile journey back in 2008." 

- Anne Aaroe

“This is 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

“User stories have challenged every team I’ve worked with.”

I hear this a lot

...In the past 17 years I’ve worked with thousands of teams to improve their approach to writing user stories. In this time I’ve seen, and helped solve the same problems time and time again.

If so, you’re not alone.

Just last year I did a survey about the most frustrating problems and more than 2,000 people responded, all trying to overcome the challenge of writing valuable user stories.

Fortunately there is a simple solution:

BETTER USER STORIES

An Online Video Course Designed and Delivered by Mike Cohn

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.

“For several years, Mr. Cohn has been a supreme source of information and instruction through his books and postings. His Blog has spurred many insightful courses of study for me. When I learned about this on-line learning opportunity with him, I jumped on it... I realize how much work it takes to produce such a professional training production takes.You have exceeded all expectations in quality and content.

- Robert Kirkman

Want your employer to pay for your membership?

Click here

1

Practical advice you 
can apply straight away

There are plenty of resources about user stories, but what people tell me is that it’s hard to take theory and practically apply it in the real-world. Step-by-step systems and real-life examples in this course means you can get a variety of techniques to try, not one-size-fits-all advice.

“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

2

Highly-distilled lessons that
solve specific problems

Better User Stories contains a lot of material, but the bite-sized lessons makes it easy to find a specific problem, and in just a few minutes, have the answer to solving it.

“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

3

The chance to join the Agile Mentors Community

Exclusive to the Expert Access level, a free 12 month subscription to the Agile Mentors Community. So what can you expect from that?

A members-only discussion area dedicated to agile topics

We know current members enjoy being able to share challenges and successes with like-minded professionals from around the world. You can find support, advice, and new ideas to consider and implement so that you’re not alone on your agile journey.

Exclusive access to the Weekly Tips archive

Currently you can only get my weekly tips if you subscribe to the newsletter. But even if you joined today you wouldn’t get the full back catalogue of more than 120 succinct agile tips. For the first time, we’re going to be making the full archive available to all members of the Agile Mentors Community.

Monthly Q&A calls with Mike and other leading agile experts

Each month you can submit a question to get feedback specific to your situation. Perfect if you’re facing a problem and need some help to get unstuck.

Access to the library of 12 previous Q&A calls

Previous Q&A calls have covered topics such as implementing agile in a waterfall environment, coaching the product owner to get him or her on board, using case studies with user stories, interfacing with non-agile teams and much more.


Calls are not only recorded but you also get access to the transcript with a table of contents so you can easily browse the calls and find useful answers.


You get access to all of this, plus the course content when you order the Expert Access edition of Better User Stories.

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

- Eugene Nikomba

PLUS: You get the value of live training without prohibitive costs.

Live workshops are valuable, but on top of the ticket price you need to block out your calendar and spend money to get there. Better User Stories is the fraction of the cost of a live workshop, and the bite-size lessons mean you can learn when it’s convenient to you.

What You Get

9 Core Modules

More than 60 focused lessons to help you master all aspects of user stories

Workbooks and quizzes to cement and retain the learning.

Transcripts and MP3 files of all video lessons

Lifetime access to course materials including upgrades at no extra cost

English captions available for all lessons

1

Access your course dashboard from your computer, phone or tablet

2

Download worksheets for each module

3

Get transcripts 
for every lesson

4

All slides can be downloaded

“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 can also help my team break up large tasks in order to plan sprints accordingly. 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

Module 1: 
What Stories Are

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.

Module 2: 
Users, User Roles and Personas

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.

Module 3: 
Story-Mapping and
Story-Writing Workshops

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. This module includes:

• Solving the confusion around Epics and Themes
• Practical approaches for adding detail (and knowing when to stop)
• How to handle a team that wants too much detail
• Preventing user stories from turning into non-agile, ‘stage gate’ placeholders

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

Module 5: 
I.N.V.E.S.T. In Good Stories

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.

Module 6: 
Splitting Stories

Module 7: 
Overcoming Common Problems

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.

Module 8: 
Things That Are Not User Stories

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

Module 9: Wrap Up And Review

Choose One of Three Levels

1. Professional - Learn and go

INCLUDES

Core Course - Your lifetime resource to work through and refer to again and again

10 Category B SEUs and 10 Category B PDUs 
- Achieve these credits on completion of the course.

2. Expert Access - Join the private community and get specific feedback from Mike

INCLUDES

Includes everything at the Professional level, but with more support.

At this level you get:

Free 12 month subscription to the Agile Mentors Community (Value $600)A closed group to share and connect with other agile enthusiasts with the following benefits:

- Exclusive space to discuss user stories and any agile topics

- Monthly live Q&A calls with Mike and other leading agile experts

- Access to more than 12 previous Q&A calls with transcripts 

- Join more than 2,000 AMC members

Bonus interview with Jeff
Patton - Including transcript.

3. Work With Mike

INCLUDES

The top level of Better User Stories gives you everything from the previous two, but you and I will have a 50 minute private 1:1 call. We can do a deep dive into any problem you’re having. I’ve been teaching user stories in a wide variety of industries for years and I’d love to help you and your team find success in this area.

Looking for licences for your team or company?

Click here to read about our group sales and discounts.

Members say they were surprised at just how much material you get (that you can keep forever)

2. EXPERT ACCESS - JOIN THE PRIVATE
COMMUNITY AND GET SPECIFIC FEEDBACK FROM MIKE

I know these lessons can help teams deliver high-quality products faster, and delight customers by delivering what they really want. I'd love you to experience the same benefits with your team, and I'm delighted that you’re interested in being part of this program.

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.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mike for almost 20 years, during which time he has, among many other things, authored the industry’s go-to book for user stories.

With his Better User Stories course, Mike has expanded his user story content and made it available through professional-quality videos.

He has thoughtfully organized the material into short digestible segments that makes it easy for busy professionals to embrace and learn.

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 and coach and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling book Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process