Progressive Refinement of User Stories

An agile requirements process must support the creation of requirements at the various levels shown in the product backlog iceberg of Figure 13.1. Team members must be able to easily create large, placeholder requirements that lie at the bottom of the product backlog iceberg, later disaggregate them into medium-size items, and eventually split them into small-enough pieces that each can be delivered by the team in a single sprint. Just as user stories work well in shifting the emphasis from writing about requirements to talking about them, they also fit well onto the product backlog iceberg. This is because of the ease with which we can move between large and small user stories.

A large user story is typically ...

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