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User Stories For A Sitecore Implementation

Creating Sitecore User Stories As A Business Analyst

User Stories For Sitecore Implementations

Here at Fishtank Consulting, our award-winning, industry-leading experts ensure businesses succeed with Sitecore. In combination with our focus on technology-first, we adopt an agile approach to our project implementations. This means we create user stories to document our Sitecore project requirements. Common in most agile methodologies.

In this blog, we will focus on what user stories are and how to create them using an example Sitecore implementation.

What Is A User Story?

According to the Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide), the purpose of a user story is defined as:

"A small, concise statement of functionality or quality needed to deliver value to a specific stakeholder."

In software development and project management context, a user story is a brief sentence describing what a user needs in one part of a system and why. It uses informal, natural language and is often written from the perspective of an end-user, or user of a system.

By focusing on stakeholder value, user stories reflect the needs of the user. It invites the exploration of the requirement by prompting conversations with several stakeholders and grouping functional requirements for delivery.

Elements Of A User Story

Element Description
Title The title of a user story describing an activity a stakeholder wants accomplished with the system. Typically, it’s an active-verb goal phrase similarly titled to a use case.
Statement Of Value No mandatory structure, but the most common format includes three components:
  • Who: a user role or persona
  • What: a necessary action, behaviour, feature, or quality of a system
  • Why: the benefit or value received by the user when the story is implemented
Acceptance Criteria Defines the boundaries of a user story to help the team understand what the solutions needs to provide in order to deliver value for the stakeholders. May be supplemented with other analysis models as needed.

What Is An Epic?

Epics allow us to capture a large complex workflow in a set of related user stories all working forward the same goal. Because epics capture a complete workflow, a team can tackle each user story individually. This mean that an epic is not deliverable until every user story is complete. An epic can cater to multiple users or personas and interact with other user stories.

User Story Usages

Why you should consider using user stories as a method to documenting requirements in your agile approach to managing a project:

  • Captures stakeholders needs
  • Prioritizes development
  • Provides insight into delivering value
  • Basis for estimating & planning delivery
  • Generates user acceptance tests
  • A unit for tracing requirements & reporting

What Is Not A User Story?

Let’s clarify what a user story is NOT:

  • Detailed requirements
  • Set in stone
  • A list of multiple requirements

Benefits And Limitations To Using User Stories

Benefits Limitations
  • Easily understandable to all stakeholders
  • Focuses on value to stakeholders
  • Creates a shared understanding of business domain
  • Facilitates frequent delivery & customer feedback
  • Small, implementable, & testable pieces of functionality
  • Challenging without the detailed specifications upfront
  • Short-term capture of requirements
  • May not provide enough documentation
  • Light weight approach can bring up team issues
  • Lose sight of big picture, without proper context

Writing User Stories For A Sitecore Content Hub Implementation

Let’s look at writing some user stories using an example Sitecore project implementation. We will need to consider the different elements of each user story outlined earlier in this blog.

If we were going to look at writing some example user stories for a Sitecore Content Hub implementation, let’s first think about the requirements of the system and the potential stakeholders that might be involved.

Content Hub serves a number of purposes, from digital asset management to unifying the management and production of your content workflow. The stakeholders we will focus on in this example are our content authors on the marketing team, the users of this requirement.

The first module of Sitecore Content Hub we will focus on is Sitecore Digital Asset Management (DAM). Sitecore DAM empowers marketing teams to store and manage digital assets, such as images and videos, in a single place. You can find more information about the documentation here.

Sitecore DAM Implementation Requirements

Element Sitecore DAM Example
Title Uploading Content Requirements
Statement Of Value
  • Who: content author
  • What: upload assets to a single repository
  • Why: store and manage digital assets so they can be integrated across Content Hub modules
As a content author,
I want to upload assets to a single repository,
So that we can store and manage our digital assets and integrate them across Content Hub modules.
Acceptance Criteria Use Case: As a content user, I can easily upload assets on the Create page in Sitecore DAM. Given I'm logged in as a content author with access to Sitecore DAM, click Create in the menu bar I can upload files to our Content Hub instance. After clicking the Upload button at the top-right of the Create page, I can import files using the following methods:
  • Drag & Drop: Drag files to the Upload tab of the Upload files dialog box, click Done.
  • Select File: Click the Upload files dialog box, click Select files, locate and open the file you want to upload, click Done .
  • Import File: Click the Import tab on the Upload files dialog box, paste links to the files you want to upload, click Import.
Content users cannot leave the page and the upload bar with indicate the progress. Content users can pause and resume an upload operation at will.

Content Search Requirements

Element Sitecore DAM Example
Title Content Search Requirements
Statement Of Value
  • Who: content author
  • What: search for content
  • Why: to browse, preview, and download content media files
As a content author,
I wantsearch for content,
So that I can browse, preview, and download content media files for campaigns and collateral.
Acceptance Criteria Use Case: As a content user, I can easily search for content, in order to browse, preview, and download media files for campaigns and collateral in Sitecore Content Hub. Access the Assets in the top menu. Assets can be searched using several search features, including:
  • Full-text search and autocomplete
  • More search options (queried search)
  • Boosting search results by relevancy
  • Saved Selections
  • New selection
  • Add to saved selection
  • Faceted search
  • Saved searches
This search page allows content users to search for content and assets depending on their permissions. Once an asset is selected, it is downloaded by creating a download order. By selecting Download, a download order is created and users are automatically redirected to the Download options page.

Recap

We hope you found this blog about what a user story is and how it can be used to document requirements for a Sitecore implementation helpful. This is after all, only scratching the surface as far as how to create effective user stories for complex Sitecore project, or any project for that matter.

We challenge you to continue using user stories to break down project requirements into small, implementable, and most importantly, testable pieces of functionality. Remember, user stories are ultimately a placeholder for a business analyst to have a conversation with their stakeholders to find and deliver the most value for the least amount of effort. If you have any other questions, feel free to reach us at [email protected]!

Meet Theresa Gutierrez

Digital Marketer

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Theresa, aka 'T', is a high-energy Digital Marketing creative with 7+ years of experience in the digital marketing and design space with a love for colour and bold lines. She's passionate about digital marketing and design for our technology-first company working exclusively with Sitecore. T is an avid golf and dog momma appeased only by a bevy of good food and a glass of something bubbly.

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