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User Story and Right Amount of Details

“Information is a source of learning. But unless it is organized, processed, and available to the right person in a format for decision making, it is a burden, not a benefit.”

When we order something from the market or store we specify our orders precisely so that there should not be any confusion and we should get what we require. We do not provide less or too much detail just the right amount to do the job. Similarly, that’s what a product owner needs to do with their team. Being in agile and knowing agile processes we have heard a lot about user stories and how user stories help in estimating the market hence helping organizations to grow up to success. So it becomes necessary for every product owner to select the most worthy user story split it in a product backlog and share with the perfect details required. The perfect right amount of details at right time will further help a team get a complete idea and know what is expected from them to be developed. Too few provided details will confuse the team members and even too much will also create chaos and differentiation of views. In this article, we will learn about issues too much and too few details will create when to consider it to be the right amount of details added and at what time it should be added.

When Details are too Little
  • The very basic issue of less information is it makes team members unsure of what to build.

  • The team’s time will be wasted in asking many questions to clear their doubts.

  • In many cases, team members will avoid asking questions or don’t consider it as an option and build what they seem to be right which may be incorrect.

  • The estimations team will make in their development will be mostly wrong and waste the team's time in further correcting it after clarity.

  • Commitment to stakeholders and customers will be wrong as the estimation of the backlog items will be wrong. Affect business greatly in a negative way.

When Details are too More
  • The basic issue here also with lots of detail will create confusion in team members of what to build and what if it can’t meet the entire specific requirement.

  • The valuable time of the product owner will be wasted in adding the extra details.

  • The team can’t move forward with their regular speed as they will have to stop at many points to clear the issues of extra information if not possible to meet.

For example, if ordering to a grocery store about specification like 5 apples complete red, without any bruise and 5inch diameter and a stem attached. It will be very confusing to sort out the apples for the grocery store to meet every apple with this requirement and in the unavailability of those should they do further if apple meets all but don’t have a stem to one and have a slight bruise or different diameter.

Yes, you can imagine the scenario and similar will be the case for development team members.

What is the Right Amount of Detail?

While starting the project make sure to provide the team with less detail. But make sure that you have provided all the basic requirements. In various studies, it is found that the little details provided make the team member start working without more confusion and tension or stress as they will have the only basic required knowledge and no chance for confusion. This will keep their creativity alive and they will feel that they can complete the requirement within an iteration. The team will get quickly adapt and inspect the right amount of details.

Once the basic amount or some of less amount of detail is provided in a product backlog and the team has started working on it and acquired the system then try to add some extra to it if required or ask for it.

It is always okay to provide less amount of detail and meet as much of the needed requirement instead of providing the extra information making the task almost different from the requirement.

As a product owner providing the team with the user stories detail or we can say with product backlog details they must remember, “information is only useful when it can be understood.”

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

Connect with us at to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. Write to us at for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together.

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