Writing User Stories

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General Principle

The Product Manager is responsible for writing user stories of all types.
As a tenet of the Agile methodology, the Product Manager owns the backlog, not the development team.

Engineering Support

There are two cases when the squad’s development team – which comprises the Engineering Lead, the Team Lead, and Developers – is involved in backlog creation:

  • Creating engineering-focused chores: when the development team identifies a chore required for a feature implementation, they would usually be responsible for writing it, e.g., modifying a specific configuration in the deployment pipeline, or optimizing the build configuration for more efficiency, etc.

  • Providing backlog optimization feedback: when the development team identifies that a feature needs to be broken down into more stories or can be accomplished with fewer stories (e.g., displaying the current application version on a setting screen does not require the standard breakdown into multiple user stories), they are invited to provide this feedback to the Product Manager to ensure the backlog contains only the required user stories.
    At the same time, the Product Manager must know when to coordinate with either the Team Lead or Engineering Lead to request feedback on technical concerns that can affect backlog creation (read more from the Guide To Squad’s Role - As a Product Manager).

Developers must seek the Product Manager’s approval before adding, moving, or removing user stories in the backlog. The Product Manager is the only person owning the backlog. Read more about product backlog ownership on the Nimble blog: Product Backlog Ownership — Why It Matters

User Story Types

There are three types of user story, each of which serves a different aspect in software development.


For example, here is Nimble’s Survey app, which is being used for internal certifications.

Pivotal Tracker workspace showing the demo Survey app backlog for iOS

Pivotal Tracker workspace showing the demo Survey app backlog for iOS.

The sample project is private and only available internally.

Nimble Survey - iOS