Ideas for splitting Epics into User Stories
Remember you are looking to develop slices of the business opportunity
that produces valuable working software with the potential to generate
feedback from users. Sometimes the story slices are not deliverable to end-
users but they generate value from the learning gained in producing them.
They should all result in testable and demonstrable software. Consider
applying the XP principle DTSTTCPW (“Do The Simplest Thing That
Could Possibly Work”)
Consider the following approaches:
What are the visual elements that must be there or can be deferred ?
• You can make a story per viewing steps on a user journey.
• You can make a story per enabled elements of an input screen.
• You can make a simple (not pretty) UI.
• You can make a command line interface.
What scenarios are in scope for acceptance criteria?
• You can work with a subset of the user scenarios.
• You can defer conditional steps to other stories.
• You can defer data validation.
• You can defer error handling.
What architecture decisions or constraints that can be deferred?
• You can defer optimisation of performance.
• You can defer internationalisation
• You can defer working on different platforms / devices
• You can defer handling large volumes of data.
• You can hard-code data rather than getting from the real
• You can stub out components.
This is not an exhaustive list! Be creative in your story splitting
Concept: Crowdsource your wedding photos
Invite guests to contribute and view collected photos from event
Benefits: personal photos – longer timeline including build up to
big day – cheaper
Costs: web hosting, storage, charging model 5p per upload, 10p per
Challenges: privacy, participation, selecting
Personas: Kim anxious bride, Geoff non-techie guest, Alex always-
on-social media mate.
Here are some headline “Epic” stories:
! Happy couple: Invite guests to contribute photos
! Guests: Upload photos
! Happy couple: Select photo set to share
! Guests: Add information about photos
! Guests: View photos
! Get into groups of 2-3 people
! Grab some index cards
! Consider one epic story
! Write smaller stories, one per card
! Objective: as many small story cards as you can
! Share one small story with the group at the end