Create a User Story

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A user story is a statement of user functionality formulated as a few sentences in the everyday language of the user that can be completed within an iteration. The user story represents a placeholder for a later conversation regarding details and acceptance criteria. A user story is unique in that it can be decomposed into parent-child, or hierarchical, user stories. An agile workspace references user stories.

Basic hierarchical rules include:

  • A parent story can have multiple children, and the parent owns its children.
  • If a child story is further decomposed or changed to a parent story, any tasks scheduled for that story are now moved from the original story to the first child of the new parent story.
  • If you delete a parent, the children and its test cases are deleted. You are prompted to confirm the deletion.
  • User stories and story hierarchies may be the children of portfolio items, which represent longer term goals or initiatives.

Your display and editing capabilities may vary based on the user role and permissions you have been assigned for the workspace.

User stories consist of the following topics:

View the User Story summary and detail pages

Summary page

The summary page is an inventory of all user stories created in the current project (or scope of projects). This page provides a summary listing of all user stories represented in Rally and is the gateway to viewing individual user story details and their associations.

Rally offers two styles of user story displays from this page:

     
  • Click the hierarchical hierarchy icon to show all user stories in a hierarchical display. The highest-level parent user story displays with all related children listed below the appropriate parent user story. This display can be collapsed to show only parent user stories or expanded to view the related child user stories for each parent user story.
  • Click the flat flat icon to view a simple flat file listing of all user stories regardless of hierarchical position.

The User Stories summary page allows you to:

  • Perform the common actions of all work item summary pages.
  • Easily assemble your user stories into a meaningful display by using Rally predefined Quick Views or by creating your own custom views. Click the drop-down arrow  in the upper-left corner to select a saved user stories Quick Views. Refine these views  further by using the filter and sort capabilities.
  • Expand this view to see the hierarchy of the root, or parent, user story and all related descending children for the parent user story.
  • Rank parent and child user stories on the page.
  • View predecessor and successor relationships by hovering over the related inline icon.
  • View and track your estimates. The label icon icon on each column header contains the first letter of your defined unit of measure configured for the workspace under the Units tab. Hover  over this icon to read the full label of your unit measurement.  
    • Plan Est: The automatic calculation or roll up of plan estimates for all for user stories in the display. Each user story in the page displays the individual plan estimate under this column header.
    • Task Est: The automatic calculation or roll up of task estimates for all tasks per user story.
    • To Do: The automatic calculation or roll up of to do estimates for all tasks per user story.
  • Inline edit a user story by double-clicking within the highlighted row.

Rally-supplied Quick Views cannot be edited or deleted. As a result, if a Quick View is selected for display, the Edit Custom View edit view icon and the Delete Custom View delete icon are not available for selection.

 A filter of the User Story summary page in the hierarchy tree view returns all matches of parent and child user stories while retaining the hierarchical display. If a parent user story is a match, the entire hierarchy under the matching parent will display, independent of any child matches. If the parent is not a match, it still displays, but is grayed out to indicate it is not an exact match of your filter criteria.

 If drag-and-drop ranking is configured, you may rank user stories on the page by dragging the user story up or down in priority relative to other user stories on the page. Click the user story and drag it up or down in priority on the page. Page ranking on the user story page does not affect the ranking of user stories on other pages.

 All child user stories within the current project display in the User Story summary page, even if they have a parent user story outside the current project.

Custom views are not shared between Rally users.

Detail page

The  detail page provides a view of an individual user story. The  page is the same for both a parent and a child user story. From here you can:

  • View a read-only display of a single user story in its entirety including all current field values and details.
  • Perform multiple activities on the displayed user story.
  • Navigate to other work items associated to the displayed user story.



The sidebar displays any associated artifacts related to the current story. Click any link to navigate to a summary page of the related artifacts of the indicated type. From the sidebar, click the chart link to display the Story Burndown page.

Click the url URL icon in the upper-left corner of the detail page to open a new user story detail page with the complete URL to this work item. From here you can copy the URL to use as a reference link in email to team members, or attachments to other work items, and so on.

Use the Actions button  to select action options such as Edit, New, Copy, Print, Delete, and other specific actions.

 

 If you expect to see a field that is not on this screen, it may have been hidden by the administrator.

 A child user story displays a hyperlinked value in the Parent field allowing you to easily navigate the user story hierarchy.

If drag-and-drop ranking is configured for your workspace, the Rank field is not displayed in the user story details.

Create a user story

You can create a user story in Rally from several locations. This flexibility allows you to progress through work activities and create a user story whenever you need it from logical positions within the Rally application.

When you create a user story from the inline add option, the user story is ranked in the page at the position you specify in the Rank field if drag-and-drop ranking is configured.

Concurrency conflicts may occur if multiple users edit the same user story. The first user to make their changes and click the Save & Close, Save & New, or Save buttons will have their changes committed. When subsequent users make their changes to the same user story then attempts to save, they are presented with an option to Review my changes or Overwrite with my version.


concurrency

If you select Review my changes, you are returned to the user story editor so the changes can be copied and not lost. If you select Overwrite with my version, your changes are saved and the other users changes are overwritten. Overwrite with my version where attachments are added and edited will save both users' changes as well as apply deletions.

Create a child user story

You can create a child user story in Rally from several locations. This flexibility allows you to progress through work activities and create a user story whenever you need it from logical positions within the Rally application.

Create a child user story from any of the following locations:

User Story summary, Backlog, or Plan pages Children pane from the user story detail page

View the Children User Story summary

A parent user story can reference many child user stories that implement segments of functionality. The total group of child user stories supply further details of the parent user story and are available for viewing from the parent user story. Each User Story detail page contains a Children link in the sidebar which also displays the number of children that are associated to the user story. Click the Children link to navigate to a display of all descending children for the individual user story.

From the Children summary page you can:

  • View a listing of all child user stories of the user story. Click any child user story name and navigate to the detail page.
  • Perform the common actions of all Work Item summary pages .
  • Easily track user story progress using the following three estimate columns. View and track your estimates. The label icon icon on each column header contains the first letter of your defined unit of measure configured for the workspace under the Units tab. Hover your mouse over this icon to read the full label of your unit measurement.
    • Plan Est: The automatic calculation or roll up of plan estimates for all for user stories in the display. Each user story in the page displays the individual plan estimate under this column header.
    • Task Est: The automatic calculation or roll up of task estimates for all tasks per user story.
    • To Do: The automatic calculation or roll up of to do estimates for all tasks per user story.

All child user stories within the current project display in the User Story summary page, even if they have a parent user story outside the current project.

If drag-and-drop ranking is configured, you may rank child user stories within the parent user story by clicking the child story and dragging it up or down in priority relative to its siblings on the page.

User story fields

Field Description
General
ID A system-generated ID is assigned to your user story. It is unique and will never change. The ID consists of a tag prefix and a numerical value. The tag can be customized by your system administrator to reflect a differentiating prefix for each work item defined in your project.
Name The user story name allows you to easily reference a user story. The red highlight indicates it is a required entry field.
Tags Tagging provides all team members the ability to logically group and filter user stories, defects, defect suites, test cases, and tasks.
Description A Rich Text Format field for the description of your user story. Capture a brief description of your user story here. Enter any text in the description that will help all team members clearly understand the intent of the user story.
Attachments Browse for a file to attach to your work item details. NOTE: The maximum size of an attachment is currently 5,242,880 bytes.
Attachments Description Provide additional text information (up to 256 bytes) to describe your attachment.
Owner Specify the owner of the user story.
Package Logically group related user stories into a common container.
Project This field is automatically populated with the name of the project that contains the user story once the user story is scheduled into a release or iteration. Note: User stories are shared across the workspace until they are scheduled.
User Story
Parent Click the icon to select a parent user story. This field allows you to decompose user stories into parent-child hierarchies, or re-parent existing child user stories.
Schedule
Schedule State Indicates the progress that has been made toward the completion of the user story. There are six states that can be set from the drop-down list. The first and last states can be customized by your subscription administrator to help you better manage your process. The following identifies the default states that the user story can move through:
  • Defined: The user story is elaborated enough that the development team can write tasks and provide estimates. This is the defaulted state value for a new user story and cannot be customized. When the state for all children user stories are set to defined, the parent user story is automatically rolled up to reflect the Defined state regardless of its initial setting.
  • In Progress: The user story has been committed to an iteration and work has begun on the user story. When the state for any child user story or task is set to defined, the parent user story is automatically rolled up to reflect the Defined state regardless of its initial setting. This state cannot be customized.
  • Completed: All related tasks and user stories have been completed. When the state for all of the tasks and child user stories are set to Completed, the parent user story is automatically rolled up to reflect the Completed state regardless of its initial setting. This state cannot be customized.
  • Accepted: All acceptance criteria for the user story has been met. When the state for all of the child user stories are set to Accepted, the parent user story is automatically rolled up to reflect the Accepted state regardless of its initial setting. This state cannot be customized.
Blocked Indicates that work on any or all of the related tasks or children for the user story cannot continue until all issues preventing further progress are removed. If any related task or child user story has been marked blocked, this field will automatically be checked in the editor. You can also manually block the user story by editing it and activating the checkbox. The blocked state will display in the Iteration Status or Release Status page in red to indicate blocked, but will still carry the associated state letter so the initial state of the user story is not lost.
Ready This checkbox can be used to indicate that a story is ready to move into the next stage of development or review. When using board apps such as the Iteration Tracking Board, the story will display with a green border in the app. You may set up notifications against the Ready field to be alerted when the field is checked.
Blocked Reason Use this field to notate why the user story is currently blocked.
Release/Iteration These fields indicate the release or iteration to which the user story is assigned. Select a release or iteration by clicking the downward arrow to the right of the respective field. A drop-down list of all available releases or iterations contained in the project displays.
Rank Indicate the relative importance of your user stories when manual ranking is in configured for your workspace. If drag-and-drop ranking is configured for your workspace, the Rank field is not displayed in the user story details.
Predecessors
State Indicates the rolled up state of all predecessors for this user story. If multiple predecessors are associated to the user story, the lowest State value of any predecessor is rolled up and displayed in this field.
Blocked Indicates if any predecessors of this user story are blocked.
Custom
Custom Fields This section displays any custom fields that have been added to your workspace and their related values. If no custom fields have been added, this section does not display.
Notes
Notes Record additional information to implement this story such as team decisions, customer input, or discussion results.
Revision
Change Description Record any changes made to your story during an edit. Comments are stored and displayed in the Revision History page. Note: Changes made to the story are also systematically captured for Revision History.

Unit and Estimate fields

The table below details the fields used in the estimating and planning.

Field Description Where it's used Notes
Iteration units Identifies how developers will estimate planned velocity, or the number of units that can be completed, for any iteration. Task summary page A label for your iteration units of the workspace is entered on the Units Configuration page. This label (Points, Days, Ideal Developer Weeks) identifies how your development will estimate the planned velocity, or number of units that can be completed, for any iteration.
Plan estimates Amount of iteration units required to complete a work item. Iteration status page
Iterations summary page
Releases summary page

Record how much effort is estimated to complete the user story. This field is a real number and can accept three digits followed by a decimal and two more digits. The units are defined by your administrator. This field is rolled up (accumulated) from child user stories and displayed as a total in the highest-level parent user story.

Estimates are rolled up and reflected on the Iteration Status page.

Planning units Identifies how developers will estimate resources available for any release or iteration. Release detail page
Iteration detail page
Release and iteration planning units are configured when you create or edit a workspace. A qualifying label for your planning units is entered on the Units configuration page.
Task estimates Number of units estimated to complete a single task. Task detail page
Task summary page
Iteration status page
Iterations summary page
Releases summary page
Calculated in increments of task units defined by your administrator. Task estimates are measured in iteration units.
To do estimates Amount of effort remaining to complete a task. Task detail page
Task summary page
Team Status page
Iteration status page
Iterations summary page
Releases summary page
Calculated in increments of task units defined by your administrator. Task estimates are measured in iteration units.
Actuals Amount of effort it took to complete a task. Task detail page
Task summary page
Team Status page
Iterations summary page
Releases summary page
The Actual field is hidden by default, and is recommended only to be used when retrospectives do not provide insight on root causes for missed commitments.

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