User Story Sessions

User Story sessions are an important part of the hybrid-agile development lifecycle and are used for hybrid-agile teams to identify and describe the desired business processes/workflow needed by the business to perform to be configured in the system. A User Story is a statement written from the perspective of an end user in natural and clear language to describe the desired processes, features, and functionality of a system.


User Stories are what the ECM System Integrator (SI) vendor will use to develop the system.


Example: As a caseworker, I want to track eligibility information across several public benefit programs, so that I can effectively manage my caseload.


This User Story might seem vague and cause questions about the types of eligibility information the caseworker wants the ability to track in the system. These details are covered by written Acceptance Criteria, which ensure that each User Story is delivered and built into the system based on a list of expected results. Acceptance Criteria are important because they set measures on the User Stories to know when they are done.


User Stories capture the essential aspects of a system's requirement. They tell the story of who is interacting with the system, the expected behavior from the system, and how the goal of the User Story has real-life benefits. Below is an example of the format of a User Story used by many practitioners.


Structure: As a [role], I want [functionality] so that [goal].

  • Role: Who is the functionality for?
  • Functionality: What do you want it to do?
  • Goal: Why is this functionality needed?


The discussions that happen in User Story sessions concern the processes that will be supported by the ECM system. User Story sessions bring key ECM system stakeholders in the same room to have a series of conversations. Throughout these conversations, stakeholders visualize a customers' journey through the ECM system from start to finish.


User Story sessions are completed when the written User Stories have been reviewed by all key stakeholders. Then, the agreed-upon User Stories will be provided to the ECM SI vendor so the system can be built based on the User Stories.


Below are some examples of topics discussed between DHS and its business partners during the ECM system User Story sessions:

  • Similarities and differences in business processes across state and county supervised programs
  • Business processes that can be streamlined to better serve individuals/participants
  • Manual processes that are not supported by current systems
  • Functions performed throughout the lifecycle of the various cases that will be managed through the ECM system
  • Impacts to other internal DHS systems and external systems
  • Needs of all stakeholder groups that will use and interface with the ECM system