Top 3 Reasons to Split a User Story

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Here are the top 3 reasons to split a user story:

Size – Large user stories need further refinement to break them down into more manageable pieces. Key indicators that a user story is too large are if the estimate is greater than the Sprint duration, or if the estimate is greater than the remaining time left within the Sprint based on what has already been added to the Sprint Backlog. Check out this blog post to get a better idea of What’s the right size for a user story.

Dependency – Stories that depend on each other make estimation difficult and re-ordering the Product Backlog harder. The story needs to be split where one story handles the dependency and the others handle the specifics.

Risk: Stories that are complex and risky are candidates for further refinement using spikes to gain a better understanding of the problem and discover ways of breaking up the story into less complex parts. A key indicator that a user story is complex is if the team is having difficulty providing an estimate.

To learn more about user stories, check out the entire Art of Storytelling Series:

Reference and recommend resource: User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn