Better User Stories

On-Demand Video

Discover and Deliver What Customers Really Want

Better User Stories is an in-depth video course, suitable for beginners and experienced agile practitioners. Through the 9 modules and course materials you can transform the way your team (or teams) write user stories.


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About this Course

User stories are critical to agile. When you write them effectively, you improve collaboration, have more meaningful conversations, and deliver real value to stakeholders with each iteration.  

This course helps you overcome common user stories problems, and shows you how to go beyond fixing mistakes to writing high-quality user stories. When you do this, you'll discover and deliver what customers really want. 

Whether you're new to user stories, or want to improve your story writing process, this course can help you: 

  • Split stories simply and easily with a repeatable 5-step system
  • Know how much detail needs to be included, and when 
  • Write stories faster, with fewer arguments
  • Deal with Conditions of Satisfaction and Acceptance Criteria
  • Troubleshoot problems, and more

Scroll down to see the full course outline. 

What You Get When you Join

  • Instant access to all 9 modules
  • 60+ professionally recorded videos (English captions available)
  • 10 Category B SEUs and 10 Category B PDUs
  • Workbooks, quizzes, nad lesson transcripts and MP3 files
  • Over 6 hours of content
  • 30 day money-back guarantee

Watch This Video to Find Out More

Why Train with Mountain Goat Software?

Mountain Goat Software has trained more than 45,000 agile professionals in certified classes, trained 100s of teams in private training, and issued more than 5000 licenses for on-demand video training.
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We go beyond theory to provide real-world advice. Our trainers share up-to-date guidance about what is and isn’t working, and our video courses include techniques you can apply immediately.


You get the best learning experience. You get access to unique interactive software for all our live, online classes, and all our courses are delivered in succinct lessons that are designed to make the learning stick.

Mike Cohn

These are the only courses designed by Mike Cohn, co-founder of the Scrum Alliance, and author of Succeeding with Agile, User Stories Applied, and Agile Estimating and Planning.

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You can expect the best customer service. Whether you have questions, or need help, our exceptional team is there to support you, and treat you like a member of the Mountain Goat family!

What People Are Saying

Ken Rubin, Agile trainer, coach, and author of the #1 bestseller: Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process
Aaron Corcoran
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The ‘definitive authority’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Mike Cohn and User Stories. As an agile trainer, I frequently refer my clients to Mike’s Better User Stories course as a cost-effective, high-value way to significantly improve their personnel’s user story writing skills. Take this course and learn from the best!
Ken Rubin, Agile trainer, coach, and author of the #1 bestseller: Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process
I think learning from someone who wrote the book on the topic is priceless... Great course. I will definitely be referencing it over and over again.
Aaron Corcoran
As a lifelong learner, and someone who has to reach many diverse audiences, it is important that I constantly add 'new arrows to my quiver'. The tidbits and anecdotes are great 'mental thumbtacks' for recalling important elements on the path to success writing, using and managing work using User Stories.
Travis Reed
Mike is an amazing story teller with the unique ability of making esoteric topics such as user stories magically come to life.
Eugene Nikomba

PDUs, SEUs, & Certification

10 PDUs

This course earns you 10 PDUs within the PMI.

10 SEUs

This course earns you 10 SEUs towards your CSP designation within the Scrum Alliance.

Additionally, if you currently hold a certification with the Scrum Alliance, attending this course will automatically advance your previous certification expiration date to the new certification expiration date.

About the Instructor

Mike Cohn

Mike Cohn

Mike is CEO of Mountain Goat Software, and one of the industry’s most well-respected Certified Scrum Trainers. He is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile. He is a co-founder and former board member of the Scrum Alliance, and a co-founder of the non-profit Agile Alliance, home of the Agile Manifesto.

With 20+ years of agile training experience, Mike has honed a talent for explaining agile concepts with clear illustrations and real-life examples. Participants enjoy his passion for teaching the agile methodologies in a relatable and digestible way. 

Scrum Certifications include: CSM, CST, CSPO, A-CSM, CSP-SM, CSP-PO


Who Should Take This Course?

This is an Intermediate level course.

This is a core course for the following roles:

  • ScrumMaster
  • Coach
  • Analyst
  • Tester
  • Designer
  • Product Owner

This is a recommended course for the following roles:

  • Agile Evangelist
  • Architect
  • Database Admin
  • Product Manager
  • Programmer
  • Team Lead
  • Team Member
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Be included in our Agile Professional Directory

On successful completion of the course, you’ll earn a credential to show that you have been trained by Mountain Goat Software.

From there you can set up your exclusive profile in our Agile Professional Directory where you can let people know about your new skills.

This is only available when you choose Mountain Goat Software as your training company.

When you join you can:

  • Stand out in the agile industry
  • Showcase your Mountain Goat Software training
  • Be found by people searching for certified individuals
  • Let people know when you are available for new opportunities
  • Build connections based on your specific skill-sets
Visit the Directory

Course Outline

What Stories Are

This module walks you through why user stories are so important, and looks at some of the key functions that are too often overlooked. This is the perfect refresher of the important foundations of user stories, and makes a great communication tool for explaining their importance to team members and stakeholders.

Users, User Roles and Personas

Many complex projects need to service the needs of multiple users. The sheer amount of variables within and across different users makes this a challenge. This module shows you how to clearly define stories for different user groups without getting bogged down in too much detail, or missing key functionality.

Story-Mapping and Story-Writing Workshops

If you don’t know how to run a successful story-writing workshop you can end up with an expensive, time-wasting exercise that doesn’t tell you how to deliver what a customer really wants. This module guides you step-by-step in how to run a great workshop so you can highlight gaps, prioritize tasks and choose only the stories that must be present to achieve the minimum viable product.

Adding Detail with Conditions of Satisfaction of Acceptance Criteria

There is a systematic way of making sure that you have enough detail, at the right time without stifling creativity. In this module you'll solve the confusion around Epics and Themes. You'll learn practical approached for adding details including knowing when to stop and how to handle a team that wants too much detail. You'll also be able to stop stories from turning into non-agile stage-gate placeholders.

INVEST in Good Stories

The INVEST acronym: Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimatable, Sized Appropriately and Testable is an invaluable tool for writing a strong user story. The challenge is knowing how to practically apply all of the individual elements. This module breaks down each one so that the process is clear, increasing the chance that teams adopt the method, and write stories that meet all the criteria.

Splitting Stories

This entire module is devoted to the most vexing and time-consuming issues surrounding splitting stories. One of the biggest problems is making sense of the myriad of advice on this subject. You don’t need 20 different ways to split a story, you need a focused, proven and practical method. The SPIDR approach looks at the most critical and valuable channels for splitting stories. This means you and your team can bring stories into an iteration that can be completed independently, and show meaningful progress to stakeholders.

Overcoming Common Problems

This troubleshooting module covers the most common problems I’ve helped teams overcome. From spending too much time splitting stories, adding too much detail, to managing the need for a requirements document. This module helps you eliminate issues as they arise, making it easier to transition teams and make them more comfortable in adopting user stories.

Things That Are Not User Stories

User stories seem simple. But because they are not lengthy documents with an endless checklist of requirements, teams run the risk of misinterpreting the rules. The result can be creating user stories that aren’t actually user stories. They may be feature lists, or job stories, bugs or non-functional requirements. These subjects are important to a project, but you need to handle them in the correct way to avoid problems further down the line.

How it Works


Before the Course

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Got a Question?

General What payment methods do you accept?

You can register on our site and pay with a Visa, MasterCard or American Express card. For a group of 10 or more, contact Laura Cohn if you wish to be invoiced.

General Are your courses only for software developers?

Not necessarily. Each course has attendees from a variety of backgrounds, including from non-software fields. Mike’s passion is product development of all sorts, so many examples are software related, but no software development experience is required.

On-Demand Video How is the course delivered?

Video courses are delivered through streaming videos plus course materials. Once you join you will receive an email with full login and registration instructions. You will be automatically enrolled in the course and able to access the course immediately.

On-Demand Video How do I pay for a course for someone else?

During the checkout process, use your own payment details, your name and your email address to make the purchase. On completion of the purchase, you can then assign the course to your chosen recipient.

On-Demand Video Can I share the videos with my team or my group?

Each license is for one person. You cannot share the videos, audio files, worksheets, or transcripts with others. You can, of course, share what you’ve learned with others.

On-Demand Video What if the course isn’t right for me?

If you’re not happy, we’re not happy. We want you to feel confident about enrolling in our on-demand courses, so we offer a full, 30-day money-back guarantee. Just email us within the first 30 days, and we’ll give you a full refund.

On-Demand Video How long will I have access?

You have lifetime access. There are no recurring or subscription fees.

On-Demand Video What browsers are supported? Can I watch on my phone or tablet?

We support browsers that support HTML 5 such as current versions of Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox. The course also works great on modern iOS and Android devices.

On-Demand Video Can we watch as a group?

Yes, in fact we encourage you to do so. However, the course is licensed individually so each person watching needs to own a license. Think of it like a movie theater: If four of you go to a movie together, you each buy a ticket. If you do intend to watch as a group, you may want to take advantage of our group pricing.

On-Demand Video Do I get a certificate?

Upon completion of the course you get a certificate of completion and digital badge that can be displayed on social networks, etc...

On-Demand Video Does the video course have captions?

Yes, it includes English-language captions.

Course Is the course different from Mike’s User Stories Applied book?

Yes, very much so. Mike's User Stories Applied was published in 2004. While it was Mike's best thinking on user stories at the time, we've all learned a lot about how to best work with user stories since then. This course includes all of the latest thinking from Mike and other agile experts on user stories.