Lesson 3: Creating And Managing A Backlog Of User Stories 2017-04-23T23:02:13-08:00

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Agile for the Government Product Owner

Lesson 3: Creating And Managing A Backlog Of User Stories

Stories are the basic units by which all tasks are built and tracked in an Agile project.

The ability to write solid user stories and prioritize them into a backlog of work to be done is fundamentally important to your team’s progress toward Agile — and it takes practice. By the end of this lesson and after completing the two exercises, your team should be able to write user stories and you will understand how to keep your backlog fresh and refined.


  • Perform Exercise 1: Writing User Stories
  • Perform Exercise 2: Backlog Refinement
  • Move on to Lesson 4

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These exercises help you and your team learn by doing. We’ll walk you through what you need, how to prepare, and how to complete each exercise. Now that you’ve learned the basics of Agile and Product Ownership, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, whip out your Sharpies, procure a pack of index cards or Post-It notes and get to work:

Start the “Writing User Stories” Exercise

If your team has completed the above workshop, you’re ready to practice backlog refinement:

Start the “Backlog Refinement” Exercise


  • Have you led your team successfully through both workshops?
  • Can you create good user stories for a project or goal?
  • Can you prioritize the stories into a backlog?
  • Does your team respect the roles of the development team and the customer-facing team?
  • Are you comfortable using sticky-notes or Trello to scope a Sprint and move stories across a storyboard?

Back to Product Owner course ›

Continue to Lesson 4