Types of User Stories

Following are the most common types of user stories used in the industry:

  1. Regular User Story: A typical user story written around a functional or non-functional requirement which can be completed in one iteration(sprint). It can be written by anybody in the team but defined and prioritized by the Product owner.
  2. Technical Debt Story: Normally developed by technical staff and is used to address accumulated technical debt (refactoring, new approach, incomplete implementation, etc.)
  3. Spike Story: A research user story to gain knowledge about the unknowns in a new piece of functionality before creating regular user stories for implementation. It always carries 0 story points but carries hour estimates to quantify the effort spent on it.
  4. Research Story: It’s is a story with 0 story points to gain Broad, foundational knowledge about a new requirement which may lead to multiple user stories.
  5. Tracer Bullet Story: A very narrow but deep implementation (aka “slice”) of production quality. Also called proof of concept(POC). May contain very little story points.


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5 thoughts to “Types of User Stories”

  1. The research and spike story why do they have 0 points. how do you account for that in a sprint considering the team pulls stories based on their average velocity.
    basically, what if the team pulled stories based on their velocity and the spike story took 1 to 2 days of the sprint and affected the points completed by the team?

    1. @Leo
      Research and Spike stories don’t deliver any business value so they are sized 0. but they do have hour estimates on them that helps in estimating the amount of work vis-a-vis team capacity in an iteration.
      A spike can take longer than the estimated hour estimate and in that case a self organizing team decides the priority between the spike and the other stories in the iteration. And if the spike is higher priority than the affected stories will have to get carried over to the next iteration.

      Hope this answers your questions!

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