Agile Delivery Management

The INVEST Qualities of a User Story

INVEST is a handy mnemonic to help you remember the properties of a good user story. INVEST stands for:

  • I – Independent
  • N – Negotiable and Negotiated
  • V – Valuable to the customer
  • E – Estimatable
  • S – Small enough to write on a card /to be done in a sprint
  • T – Testable

INVEST Story Mnemonic

If you struggle to remember the components of acronym based mnemonics, then try using a story-based mnemonic. I put one together to help aid my memory with INVEST.

An Independent news reporter was trying to sell an amazing story to all the major newspapers. He set a high price but told them it was Negotiable. He knew that his compelling story would be Valuable to the papers. Its worth was Estimatable based on similar stories in the past that had attracted many readers. His concise writing style meant that his copy would be Small enough to fit perfectly within a couple of columns on a page. After he proved the appeal of his story was Testable by showing the half a million Twitter likes it got, a paper was quick to invest.

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