User Story Template

Verisys User Story Template

This template is designed to be used for all stories. In other words, all ‘requirements’ should be written using the user story format, including technical requirements.

The best of both “Use Cases” and “User Stories” have been combined in this template. As we learn more we will update the template and always use the latest when creating new stories.

Epics are just big user stories, and can be broken down into sub-Epics and Stories. Stories should not be broken into sub-Stories, rather should always be sized to be completed in a sprint. Stories should not stand alone in a project but should always be part of an Epic.


There are 3 parts to any story:


  • Always start with a verb
  • Tell the story in as few words possible
  • Use active voice

Definition Block:

  • Narrative - Required
    • As a _______ (be descriptive - not just ‘user’ or ‘admin’), I need/want to ________ (describe the action with enough clarity that it leaves little room for misunderstanding) so that ________ (be as descriptive about the problem the user wants to solve or benefit they want)
  • What It’s Not - as needed - to help minimize scope-creep
  • Non-Functional - as needed - clarify any important security, performance, scalability, usability, etc.
  • Dependency Chain - as needed - e.g. I depend on something happening before I can be started, or something should not start till I am done
  • Attachments - as needed - UI mockups, proof-of-concept, anything that will help with the story

Acceptance Criteria Block:

  • Happy Path - Required
  • Alternate Paths (success or failure paths) - as needed
  • Paths are scenarios from the user perspective, written as a sequential list of steps with the last step completing the value of that scenario
  • Avoid implementation specific details



Get Cash from Checking



As a person who didn’t get all the things done on my to do list, I want to get cash from the bank early Saturday morning, so I can get on the road on my vacation and not have to wait until that bank opens.

What It’s Not:

Get cash from Savings - only checking

Get a receipt, see balance, or anything else


Security - Latest Crypto hashing

PIN - do not show

PIN - 5 tries

Dependency Chain:

This is the first of several Epics in the Automated Teller Machine “ATM” release train

Needs to be broken down into stories - Paths below should help guide the break down


UI wireframes <link>


Acceptance Criteria:

Happy Path:

  1. Read instructions on main screen
  2. Insert Card
  3. Input PIN (with option to change numbers in case of mistake), Select ‘Enter’
  4. Input amount in increments of $20 up to $200, Select ‘Next’
  5. See confirmation screen, Select ‘Yes’
  6. Get Cash from dispenser
  7. Smile

Alternate Path - Wrong PIN

  1. Input wrong PIN, Select ‘Enter’
  2. See Incorrect PIN message and instructions
  3. Re-input PIN, Select ‘Enter’
  4. After 5th try see message that the system is locked

Alternate Path - Insufficient Funds

  1. Input amount, Select ‘Next’
  2. See ‘Insufficient Funds’ message, but no information about account balance
  3. Re-input amount
  4. After 10th try see 'Start Again' message

Alternate Path - Increment not $20

  1. Input amount that is not a $20 increment
  2. See message and instructions
  3. Re-input amount
  4. After 10th try see 'Start Again' message

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