Questions are important, questions illuminate, questions remove assumptions, questions create good thinking. Here are some questions to use when elaborating agile user stories. Please leave your favourite elaboration questions in the comment section:

 

Question
Process Has the story been created collaboratively?
What Do you as a team have a shared understanding of the story?
Process Does this story meet your elaboration step definition of done?
INVEST What is the problem or need addressed by this story?
What Who is this story for?
INVEST Why is this story valuable?
Vision Does this story fit with the higher level vision?
Vision Is this aligned with current strategy?
What What are we testing with this story?
Why What risks are we mitigating?
INVEST Can the story be finished within the relevant timebox?
INVEST Are the acceptance criteria testable?
INVEST At what level will we test this?
INVEST How can we demo this?
Process Is the story written as … As a …… I want ……. So that ………
Why What does the user really want to do?
What Is this the right story?
What What is the real challenge with this story?
What What documentation is required?
INVEST Is this story feasible?
INVEST Can we slice it?
INVEST Is this story Independent of others?
INVEST Will we be blocked by external dependencies?
INVEST Does the story have an estimate?
INVEST Can we increase estimate confidence?
Acc Criteria How will you know this story is done?
UX Have you considered the user experience?
UX Would a user journey, story board, workflow diagram, sketch or mock-up add something to this elaboration?
UX Would creating a model help?
Process  Is your current elaboration process helping you develop solutions as quickly as possible?
Why What hypothesis is this story testing?
Acc Criteria  Are the acceptance criteria a yes/No question
UX  Have you had a conversation with a user?
What  Do you have any examples? Can these examples be executed?
INVEST How will we measure success?
 Decay  What is the best before date for this story? At what point will this story need to be re-elaborated?
 What What is the simplest solution?
 INVEST  What splitting pattern applies here?
 What  What is a small experiment we can do to prove this hypothesis?
 Do we need to take a break?
References:
Bill Wake – INVEST
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