Get in touch with us
Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Product Management

Improving Productivity: Ultimate Guide to Mastering User Story Templates for Jira

User stories in Jira can be a handy tool for improving team productivity and creating a product that meets expectations. Find out what user stories are and how you can master them for success!

Dmytro LokshynDmytro Lokshyn
March 20, 2024
Productivity Tools*source

Table of Contents

User stories are a crucial part of software development, taking an essential part in Agile development. Thanks to these stories, the team involved knows exactly how it will benefit the end user and how it should help improve growth and productivity. They ensure coordinated task execution and faster results as everything is properly arranged.

Key Takeaways

·       Jira user stories are an essential part of agile methodology, which describes the functionality of a piece of software.

·       A basic Jira story template contains a description, acceptance criteria, priority, dependencies, tasks, and related issues.

·       User stories can be used in any kind of project, putting everything from the customer’s perspective.

·       User stories work well with Agile, as they help divide the project and lead to non-standard solutions for addressing user needs.

·       Stories should be made user-centric and offer a valuable outcome in a clear way.

·       User stories can easily be integrated with an Epic using the “Edit” feature.

·       Jira filters, prioritization, and different acceptance criteria can be helpful in further managing a Jira story.

In the past, the story format was put together manually, requiring significant work from the QA team and the developers. Nowadays, there are plenty of user story examples online, along with multiple templates that you can use. Despite that, a template is only as successful as the information you use and the methodology you implement. In this article, you will learn more about how a user stories template should be used in Jira, thus mastering productivity.

What Is a Jira Story?

For the most part, Jira user stories are elements of the Agile methodology that describe software functionality. They offer a solution from the point of view of the end user, with everything written in simple language and just a few sentences.

Simply put, they are Agile project planning tools that break down a project into multiple phases. They articulate how a specific feature should work, offering an informal explanation from the user’s perspective. These customers don’t necessarily need to be external buyers but internal colleagues who depend on your team or organization.

User stories are used in a variety of Agile methodologies, including the following:

·       Kanban: The user stories are introduced into a product backlog, after which they are embedded into the process.

·       Scrum: The user stories are included in a sprint, employing index cards placed on a Scrum board to track every stage progressively.

User stories are often referred to as functional requirements, but they are more than that. They are more or less the desired value that customers expect from you when they think of the results. The story acts as a link between the task at hand and the value that has to be achieved.

Components of Jira User Story Template

When learning how to create user stories in Jira, you must understand all of its components. It’s essential to put yourself in the mind of the user when writing the story, thinking about their goals and the benefits they might achieve by engaging with the story. Below are the aspects of a user story that you’ll have to go through while filling out a Jira story template:

1.     Description

The first component of a Jira user story is the actual description. This is important because it sets the connection between the story and the end user. It is essential to add the relevant data, such as the requirements, context, and potential constraints that could affect the end user.

2.    Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria are also critical as they narrow down the expected outcome, concretely delivering the story. These factors offer the QA team and developers a straightforward way to determine whether or not the story has reached its potential.

3.    Priority

You should also include the priorities when filling out the user stories template. This can go from low to critical and affect your productivity if not addressed correctly. For instance, if a crucial aspect is postponed to fix something that could have waited, this can affect the quality of the work and mess up your timeline.

4.    Dependencies

Each story might have specific prerequisites and dependencies to reach a complete stage. This is important to settle from the very beginning, as it prevents potential delays. It clears the path for you so you’ll know exactly what the story needs to be “done,” like milestones to respect.

5.    Tasks

Once the dependencies are set in order, the tasks are next to focus on. Determine what will be required to bring the present story to completion. At this point, you also need to settle on the assignees, the estimates, and other elements to finalize the task.

6.    Related Issues

Stories can have a multitude of related issues that have not been approached before. This includes Epics or other factors that could affect the story. Write down as many related issues as possible, as it can help you write a well-defined story.

Examples and Execution: Jira User Stories in Action

User stories can be challenging to comprehend, even among people with deep Jira knowledge. Below are some user story examples that could be transformed into actionable Jira models.

·       Software Developer

Let’s say that you are a software developer. In the story, the order would be that as the developer, you want to integrate a new framework for logging to have a more detailed list and structure of the bugs. By replacing the current setups, you should quickly identify the bugs.

The acceptance criteria will depend on the project. For instance, it might need to be integrated within an existing codebase, as logs are structured with timestamps, and the impact on performance is minimal. The more details it brings, the better it will be at triggering conversation and finding an actionable solution for the problem.

·       Lending Institution Customer

Another user example takes you through the eyes of the person at the receiving end. Let’s say that the story is for a financial program, and as a customer, you might want to know specific aspects of the program. You could be tempted to add in a story that, as the customer, you wish to learn about potential application changes faster so that you can get to your payments immediately. However, while it might be clear in your head, the task could be, in fact, rather vague.

Looking closely, the story does not mention exactly what status you are talking about. You have to be more specific. Instead, you can prompt that you want to receive a text when your application is approved so that you can get to the payments faster. These details can lead to more customized solutions without potential delays.

Jira User Stories and How They Work with Agile


User experience is a very important part of the whole development process. When writing a Jira story, the whole point is to bring context to your team. This significantly affects the entire workload and productivity, as the story offers more or less of a starting point. When it comes to the Agile methodology, Jira user stories allow the individuals involved to:

1.     Divide the Project

Whenever you are developing a product, regardless of its nature, there will likely be numerous project stages that not everyone can handle. Jira stories allow you to divide the entire procedure into much smaller phases. This makes it easier for product managers to track potential results after every sprint.

2.    Focus on User Needs

The purpose of Agile is to manage a project with as much ease as possible while making it functional. One mistake that many developers make is focusing on an abstract object, a feature that they wish to obtain, or an idea to implement. Very often, this has nothing to do with the end customer in particular, mainly because they used the idea without the context. When implemented with Agile, user stories focus on the client’s real needs, maximizing success.

3.    Clearing Feature Context

Each team member must understand the context when working on a project. Using Jira user stories with Agile makes the feature context very clear. This way, there should be no delays caused by miscommunication or confusion.

4.    Non-Standard Solution

One of the main benefits of Agile is that it is fairly flexible, allowing team members to find non-standard responses to the problems at hand. By creating an Agile story template with Jira, you can take the task and find a different solution to it. It allows enough creativity so that you can come up with an innovative, cost-effective option.

5.    Close Collaboration

For the most part, Jira stories enable close collaboration with the individuals involved, prompting discussion. This remains in the exact line of Agile, which follows the same principle. These user stories facilitate collaboration among specialists of all kinds, whether they are in the technical field or not.

Steps for Writing a Jira User Story

When it comes to writing user stories in Jira, you have to keep several tips and tricks in mind. Here are some user stories and best practices you should consider.

1.     Make the Story User-Centric

When writing a Jira user story, you need to think about who will take the most advantage of their features. In this case, it is the end user. You need to create the story around them, allowing those who use it to achieve what they are planning. Defining a user persona can be very useful here, as it can give you a better visual of who’s going to benefit from the story in the end.

2.    Write Clear and Concise Messages

When putting down the user stories format and style, you might feel tempted to sound smart by using technical jargon. That said, it would be more beneficial if you used simple, plain language instead. User stories should be brief, and the requirements must be specific if you want to make them work.

3.    Keep Them Flexible and Negotiable

One thing you need to know about user stories is that despite being clear, they should not be packed with details and specifics. They’re supposed to act as conversation starters, beginning a discussion between you and the end user. This will provide more space to adapt as information becomes accessible.

4.    Offer Valuable Outcome

As their name suggests, user stories are there to benefit those who come in contact with them. For this reason, every story should clearly state the benefits that the person could enjoy. This is essential, as it aids in understanding the priority and purpose of the features.

5.    Try Making It Testable

The story writing format should be done in a way that makes it testable. For the most part, you need to determine the acceptance criteria so it’s easy for you to test for different possibilities. At least three criteria are recommended, but if you can test more, that’s even better for you.

6.    Estimation

When working with Jira, it’s safe to say that every moment is precious. For this reason, the user story has to be clear enough to offer estimation. Your development team needs to know precisely how long it should take for the story to develop.

How to Integrate Jira Stories with Epics and Sprint Planning

One thing you’ll need to know about the development process is that stories are highly efficient in drawing responses, but they do not work alone. They are part of an entire “waterfall,” made from stories, epics, and initiatives. Below is how they are defined:

·       User Stories: Short, usually one-sentence requirements written from the end user’s point of view.

·       Epics: Larger task bodies that are often broken down into smaller, one-order tasks (i.e., stories).

·       Initiatives: A collection of multiple epics that drive the team (or teams) toward one common goal.

Stories are often committed by teams to be resolved within a sprint, often lasting for a week or two. Depending on the level of work or complexity, a sprint might include dozens of stories per month. Since epics are longer, they take much more to finalize, especially if new stories are added to the sprint.

Integrating a story into an existing epic is relatively simple. All you have to do is click on the story and select “Edit.” After that, you should see the option for “Epic Link.” The dropdown menu should show you the available matches and all have to do is select the one that you want. Once that is done, you are free to proceed with the other tasks in your sprint planning.

Advanced Techniques for Managing Jira User Stories

There are several strategies and methodologies that should be implemented in Jira user stories. These are:

1.     Acceptance Criteria

For the most part, the product owner or manager is responsible for writing the acceptance criteria within the user story template. That said, anyone within a cross-functional team should be able to assemble this. However, it is recommended that you involve both the QA team and the developers when implementing the acceptance criteria.

These factors provide value since they show a function from the point of view of the user. They offer insight into the objectives while serving as a test basis. They also have a clear pass/fail route, following a “given, when, and then” syntax.

2.    Story Prioritization

Prioritization is also an essential aspect to consider when managing Jira user stories. When setting priorities, you should focus on the most important things such as user needs, project goals, as well as dependencies. Each project has a different timeline, so you should cross-reference every decision to see how it would impact it. Ultimately, your purpose here is to bring value to the user.

3.    Jira Filters

Setting Jira filters can also benefit your project, as they show the story exactly how you want it to. For example, you may filter stories only so they open in an active sprint, the subtasks showing beneath them. Filters also make it easy to find issues in a project, maximizing workload efficiency. With the stories organized this way, productivity and deadline management should also be improved.

The Bottom Line

User stories can be very helpful in developing a qualitative product that meets the end user’s expectations. Once you determine the acceptance criteria and other factors, such as dependencies, you should be able to create something that brings your team much closer to your goal.

No items found.


Table of Contents

Recent posts

Visit our Blog