Stories

Overview

Stories are the actual elements and fragments of features that you plan to build for your end-users. It's very normal for stories to start extremely high-level when you have many unknowns, only to end up being broken down into more granular detailed stories as the path to your goal becomes more clear.
There are many ways to write user stories and we don't prescribe a particular framework. Stories in Avion are purposely very lightweight and we find the best purpose for writing stories is as a facilitation for discussion β€” that's it.
Does a story need lots of detail? Will it help facilitating the discussion? If so, then add the detail. Is everyone in the team already highly aligned on what this story is about? If so, then skip the detail.

Create stories

Stories live under steps, so once you have a step, you can create a story by hovering over the step column and clicking Add Story. You can add full details to stories by single-clicking on them, where you will get a screen like this:
Here is a rundown of all the fields and what they are used for:

Title

Your story title. This should be short, snappy and recognisable to the team. The team are building it, so they should be able to know what it is at a glance.

Description

This is where you might write your classic user story description (as a, I want, so that...). Or you can keep it succinct and just type a description of the feature. It's common to include acceptance criteria here if you team uses it. You can use the rich-text editor to add formatting to your stories.

Label

Each story has a single label. Labels have a color and can be renamed. They can be used to organize your story map.

Tags

Tags are a flexible utility that you can add to stories. Tags can even be set out into categories (which has been done above).

Personas

Personas represent the different user types that might use your service. Attach them to stories where a particular feature should require the team to keep a certain user type front of mind.

Attachments

Attachments can be files (images, PDFs, documents, etc), web links or internal Avion links.

Size

If your team uses story points, you can use the size field to enter a numeric story point value.

Status

A story can be one of many states, which can be selected from the status dropdown. Story states can be configured at the story map level using Workflow.

Linked cards

Add links to other cards in the story map. Mark them as dependencies, blockers, duplications or just links. Then switch on card links on the story map to see your links visually annotated on the story map.

Comments

Add comments and discuss the planning details of each story. Use the @ key to mention other organization members in the conversation. They will get a notification when they are mentioned.

Reordering

Stories can be reordered in their step or moved between steps by dragging them.
You can use a mouse wheel whilst dragging story. Hold shift to move horizontally with the mouse wheel. Using this, you can move a story a large distance very quickly.

Aliases

Sometimes on a story map, you need the ability to put a single story in many places. You can do this in Avion by creating an alias. Just right-click a story and then click Create alias.
Aliases show up on the story map with a dashed border. When you click an alias, you will be editing the original story. If you have an integration with a backlog tool, aliases are not pushed, so no duplicate data is created.

Best practice

  • Keep story titles snappy, short and recognisable for the team
  • Check out the INVEST mnemonic for a nice framework around story writing
  • Check out this resource on relative story point sizing​
  • Follow our guide on defining your scoping and prioritizing your product: