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Better User Stories

Live Online On-Demand Video One Day

Discover and Deliver What Customers Really Want

Better User Stories is in-depth training, suitable for beginners and experienced agile practitioners. Through the lessons and course materials you can transform the way your team (or teams) write user stories. Choose from an on-demand video course or  a one-day, live online class.

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This course is offered in the following formats:

Choose the best format for you to learn more about the course below.

with Mike Cohn $599 Register

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Group Pricing

Quantity Discount Price
10-24 10% OFF $355/license
25-49 15% OFF $335
50-99 20% OFF $316
100-249 25% OFF $269
250-499 30% OFF $279
500+ 40% OFF $237

Got a Question?

If I don’t distribute all my codes, can I get a refund on the unused ones?

There’s no refund on unused codes, but remember that all licenses come with lifetime access and can be used at a later date.

How many licenses do I need?

Each license is valid for one person, and each user can use and reference the materials as often as they need. Licenses are not transferable. So after one person finishes the course, that license cannot be reassigned to someone else.

Can I pay with a purchase order or check?

Yes, you can if you are buying ten or more licenses. To arrange payment by check or purchase order, email Laura or call her at 1-888-61-AGILE (24453).

Can I add additional licenses and still get the same price?

Discounts are based on the number of licenses purchased at the same time. Keep in mind that the codes you’ll receive on purchase do not expire. So to maximize savings, plan ahead for the needed quantity and then buy them at once.

About this Course

This one-day training course is the live version of the Better User Stories video course. It will be delivered live and online via Zoom.

Your instructor will take you through the training sessions, with multiple breakout sessions giving you the chance to practice what you learn.

You’ll learn how to create significant objectives, as well as write and split stories to deliver value in an iteration. You’ll also cover adding detail, common problems, and dealing with items that aren’t user stories.

Q&A sessions give you the opportunity to get your questions answered and after the class  you’ll get a recording of the live sessions as well as additional training materials and downloads - all accessible from your personal dashboard.

By the end of the day you’ll learn how to write user stories that correctly capture a customer’s needs.

Places are limited for these one-day classes but you can guarantee your place when you register today. 

What You Get When you Join

  • 6 hour live, online training session via Zoom
  • PDF of course materials and exercises
  • Recording of the full event for you to keep
  • 6 Learning SEUs and 6 PDUs
  • Time for breakout sessions and Q&A
  • Satisfaction guarantee

Watch This Video to Find Out More

Why Train with Mountain Goat Software?

Mountain Goat Software has trained more than 9,000 agile professionals in Live Online certified classes and over 25,000 agile professionals in person certified classes, trained 100s of teams in private training, and issued more than 12,000 licenses for on-demand video training.

Adobe LinkedIn Southwest Google Intuit Oakley
Puzzle

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.

Desktop

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.

Speech Bubbles

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!

Plus...

Agile Mentors
Agile Mentors Logo

This course includes 12 months of access to the Agile Mentors Community.

The Agile Mentors Community is a place for agile practitioners around the world to collaborate in a safe, experiential learning space. In this private community, you will find lively discussions on a variety of agile topics such as agile leadership, user stories and the product backlog, transitioning to agile, and more.

Learn more about Agile Mentors

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
speech bubbles
speech bubbles
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

Certificate
6 PDUs

This course earns you {coursetype_pdus} PDU within the PMI.

6 SEUs

This course earns you 6 SEUs towards your CSP designation within the Scrum Alliance.

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

Watch This Video to Find Out More

Why Train with Mountain Goat Software?

Mountain Goat Software has trained more than 9,000 agile professionals in Live Online certified classes and over 25,000 agile professionals in person certified classes, trained 100s of teams in private training, and issued more than 12,000 licenses for on-demand video training.

Adobe LinkedIn Southwest Google Intuit Oakley
Puzzle

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.

Desktop

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.

Speech Bubbles

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!

Plus...

Agile Mentors
Agile Mentors Logo

This course includes 12 months of access to the Agile Mentors Community.

The Agile Mentors Community is a place for agile practitioners around the world to collaborate in a safe, experiential learning space. In this private community, you will find lively discussions on a variety of agile topics such as agile leadership, user stories and the product backlog, transitioning to agile, and more.

Learn more about Agile Mentors

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
speech bubbles
speech bubbles
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

Certificate
10 PDUs

This course earns you {coursetype_pdus} PDU within the PMI.

10 SEUs

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

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

People

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:

  • Architect
  • Database Admin
  • Product Manager
  • Programmer
  • Team Lead
  • Team Member
Alycia Bayer Aras Geylani Lisa Sieverts Eugene Crooks Taylor Manes

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

Common User Stories Problems

You’ll also cover troubleshooting techniques for common problems. From spending too much time splitting stories, adding too much detail, to managing the need for a requirements document.

Story-Writing Workshops

Step-by-step instructions to run a great workshop so you get the best collaboration and conversation about your stories from the start.

Backlog Refinement

Maintain a well-managed backlog by knowing when to add detail, who should be adding detail, and how to handle Conditions of Satisfaction and Acceptance Criteria.

Job Stories, Tech Stories, Bugs and Non-functional Requirements

Feature lists, or job stories, bugs or non-functional requirements. These subjects are important to a project, but you need to handle them differently to user stories to avoid problems.

Story Mapping

Highlight gaps, and choose the stories you need to achieve the minimum viable product.

Splitting Stories

The SPIDR approach looks at the most critical and valuable channels for splitting stories. Complete stories in an iteration AND show meaningful progress to stakeholders.

Adding Detail

Find the balance of just the right detail, just in time, so that you and your team have enough detail to start work, but not so much detail that it delays progress.

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 does the content in this course compare to our other offerings? View a detailed comparison.

How does the content in this course compare to our other offerings? View a detailed comparison.

How it Works

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Before the Course

Once you register, if your class includes video, you get access to those materials to watch before you attend. These videos include key lessons and are essential viewing before you attend the live class.

For classes with videos included, you are required to watch all videos before attending live, so make sure you leave enough time to work through them.

With lifetime access to all modules in these videos, you can watch them whenever you need, long after the live class so they’re a significant advantage to your training experience.

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During the Course

You’ll participate in a live, online class via Zoom, facilitated by your experienced Certified Scrum Trainer. You’ll get to know other attendees through group discussions, and practical breakout sessions.

The Team Home Software used for the breakout exercises is a popular part of our training. It’s unique to Mountain Goat Software and it really helps make the course interactive and engaging.

The lively Zoom sessions will fly by, we know because that’s the feedback we get from attendees. Be prepared to come with questions, and leave with answers and confidence to test out your new skills.

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After the Course

After the class we want you to be successful in your agile journey. That’s why we’re the only training provider to offer a 12 month membership into The Agile Mentors Community (value $299). Founded by Mike Cohn, your membership includes access to a community of smart and generous agilists, as well as additional resources to make it easier to succeed with agile. Learn more about what's included in your membership.

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 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.

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.

Live Online What is your refund policy for Live Online courses?

If you cancel or reschedule a Live Online course more than 7 days before the first day of the class you will receive a full refund. If you cancel or reschedule within 7 days of the first day of class, a 50% fee will be charged, and the remaining 50% can be used as a credit toward a class to be taken within 6 months from the date of the canceled class. All cancellation requests must be made via email. Refunds or credits will not be issued for no shows, partial attendance or cancellations within 24 business hours.

We want you to feel confident about enrolling in our live, online courses. If after watching the pre-course videos and participating in the live sessions you don’t find the course valuable, email us within 7 days for a full refund.

Note that this refund policy applies only to Live Online courses.

Live Online Will my certificate say virtual if I take the certification online?

No, your certificate will not mention the course was held virtually. It will look the same as the in person certificates.

Live Online Do you offer Live Online course discounts?

Our certified Live Online classes include volume discounts:

  • Save $100 per person when you register 10 or more people for a certified course.
Live Online Do I get a Scrum Alliance membership with my course?

All CSM, CSPO, A-CSM, and A-CSPO classes include a 2-year Scrum Alliance membership

Live Online Are there any exam fees to pay?

The only course that includes an exam is the Certified ScrumMaster class. There is no additional fee to pay in order to take the exam. The course registration fee is the full and final price. 

Live Online If I have an expired certification, can I still take an advanced class?

Your CSM or CSPO certificate doesn't  need to be current to be eligible for the advanced courses. Once you complete your Advanced course, you will need to add 1 year of relevant work experience to your profiles to receive your certification.

If your certificate is expired, there is no cut-off date that requires you to take that certification course again. (You may want to retake it if a lot of time has passed, or if you want to renew it by re-taking the class rather than going through the renewal process of submitting enough SEUs and paying the renewal fee.) 

When it comes to taking an advanced class, if your foundational (CSM / CSPO) certification has expired you can still take the course. Assuming you meet the experience requirement on completion of the advanced class, your foundational certification will be renewed, and include new renewal deadlines. 

Live Online How do I claim my SEUs and PDUs once my course is completed?

After completing your course, you'll receive an email with instructions for claiming continuing education units from Scrum Alliance and Project Management Institute.

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 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.