User Stories Masterclass – Half Day Online Course – 14th September 2020


Would you like to improve your teams ability to undertake development requirements capturing, and increase communication in Agile software development… with better user stories!? Join our half-day User Stories Masterclass course that gives you a better understanding of user stories and associated techniques (such as 3 Amigos and Specification by Example).

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“What is the right size for a user story? How do I make my user stories smaller? What is the difference between an Epic and a Story… and Tasks?”

Based on Allan Kelly’s best-selling Little Book about Requirements and User Stories book (of which an eBook and signed paperback are included in the price of the course), our live virtual User Stories Masterclass course seeks to answer the questions above and more! This user stories course is for Product Owners and Agile Team members who want to improve communication surrounding requirements. By the end of the User Stories Masterclass you will have an understanding how to improve requirements capture and communication in Agile development with better user stories.

This live online user stories course is based on reference to real user stories taken from real work. Slides are kept to a minimum, and discussion and questions are encouraged.

Being online, the User Stories Masterclass course is suitable for trainees across the globe…  the half day course starts at 1:30 pm UK BST (2:30 pm CEST) and finishes at 5:00pm UK BST (6:00 pm CEST). This makes the course perfect for people across the world including North and South Americas, Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe.



What you will receive:

  1. Half a day of high-quality interactive instruction from leading Agile trainer and author, Allan Kelly;
  2. Official course materials;
  3. A free eBook version of the Little Book about Requirements and User Stories;
  4. A printed copy of the Little Book about Requirements and User Stories, SIGNED by the author (and course trainer) Allan Kelly;
  5. A free Audio version of the Little Book about Requirements and User Stories;
  6. A certificate of User Story Masterclass course attendance;
  7. Three attempts at the USM assessment. Following the course, a password will be provided to the trainee to attempt the USM assessment (included in the cost of the course) and, if the trainee takes the aforementioned USM assessment within 21 days of the class end, and does not achieve the 85% certification score, they will also get 2 additional free re-attempts;
  8. User Story Masterclass (USM) certificate (upon completion of the course and passing the official User Story Masterclass assessment) and digital badge.

Who should attend the User Stories Masterclass course?

This User Stories Masterclass is designed for Product Owner, Product Managers and Business Analysts as well as Developers, Software Engineers and Testers who want to improve their user stories.

Scrum Masters and Project Managers will also benefit from a better understanding of user stories and associated techniques.

Your Remote Trainer

This course is facilitated by Allan Kelly BSc, MBA, author of “Art of Agile Product Ownership”, “Little Book of Requirements and User Stories”, “Continuous Digital” and “Business Patterns for Software Developers”.

His clients have a habit of calling him “Agile Allan”… but he tends to think of himself as an Agile Guide, helping others find better ways! Indeed, Allan guides individuals and teams towards better ways of working, ways which go by the name of Agile.

Allan Kelly - Agile Coach and Trainer

Course Details

This User Stories Masterclass course takes place online over one half-day using state-of-the-art technology:

  • Monday 14th September – 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm UK BST (2:30 pm to 6:00 pm CEST)

Being online and interactive, this User Stories course is specifically designed to cater for trainees across the globe, and particularly across the Americas, United Kingdom, and Europe. Indeed, the timing of this course supports trainees attending from, for example; from Buenos Aires, New York, Toronto, Edinburgh, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin.

The course includes regular breaks for comfort and effective learning.

Remote/Online Course Logistics

Upon sign-up of the course, you will be sent a calendar invitation with Zoom video/audio conference details as well as information about Google Jamboard

It is recommended you download the Zoom app onto your PC for best learning experience.

User Stories Masterclass Coverage

The User Stories Masterclass course is broken into four parts:

  • Part 1 – introduction to User Story format and the Two Golden Rules of User Stories;
  • Part 2 – continues on directly from part 1 and adds greater understanding of user stories and writing stories;
  • Part 3 – popular working practices which build on user stories, including: acceptance criteria and defintion of done;
  • Part 4 – exercises that give the User Story Masterclass trainee an opportunity to consolidate learnings and practice writing and splitting.

For more detail, see the course breakdown below.


The objective of the User Story Masterclass is to improve development requirements capture and communication in Agile software development by giving students the awareness and understanding of how to create better user stories.

Course Breakdown

Part 1 provides an introduction to User Story format including epics, stories and tasks, as well as introducing Allan Kelly’s Two Golden Rules of User Stories. The majority of this part of the course is spent reviewing and learning from actual user stories (drawn from the real world). Learnings from this part of the course include the role of conversations, the advantages of being specific with roles, when not to use user story format and
the relationship between epics, stories and tasks.

Part 2 continues directly from the first part and adds greater understanding of user stories by reviewing additional real-world/actual stories and having attendees experience writing user stories. Participants are encouraged to bring their own user stories for review. During this part of the course, the trainee will develop an understanding of the role of the product owner, how to identify value from stories, and how to work with dependencies and spikes.

Part 3 looks at popular working practices which build on user stories, including: acceptance criteria, definition of done and definition of ready, 3
Amigos and specification by example. Once again, in this part, real-life user stories (taken from actual teams) are used to illustrate points and encourage interactive discussion.

Part 4 pulls everything together. The focus of this part of the course is slicing and splitting user stories to obtain the advantages of working in the small this. Slicing techniques examined include by actor, functionality, acceptance criteria and fidelity.  Exercises in this part of the course gives  trainees an opportunity to practice splitting. Finally, the story lifecycle and role of backlogs is discussed.

The Book

In the book, A Little Book about Requirements and User Stories: Heuristics for requirements in an agile world; Allan Kelly discusses the role of user stories… they are not requirements, they are tokens for work to be done and a placeholder for a conversation.

A Little Book about Requirements and User Stories

Allan gives his two golden rules: stories must be small and they must be beneficial to the business – further he describes what beneficial is, how to put a value on a story and how to maximise the return on investment. He gives particular attention to the difference between requirements and specification and how these ideas line up with user stories and acceptance criteria. Along the way he takes epics, tasks, definition of done, backlog structuring, acceptance tests and much else.

In short, it is a little book about user stories and all that goes with them.

For more information about the book, which is available in Kindle, Audible and Paperback formats, click here.

Remember; this course includes 3 x free copies of the book in paperback, ebook and Audio version formats.

User Story Masterclass (USM) Certification and Assessment Details

Attendees who attend the User Story Masterclass course, and go on to pass the USM certification assessment will receive:

  • User Story Masterclass  (USM) Certificate of Completion.

User Story Masterclass Certificate

User Story Masterclass (USM) Exam Details

Format: Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer and True/False
Time Limit: 45  Minutes
Number of Questions: 30
Passing Score: 85%
Difficulty: Intermediate

Assessment Cost

The first, second and third USM assessment attempts are FREE as they are INCLUDED in the cost of the course.  If trainees take the first USM assessment within 21 days of the end of the class, and do not achieve the 80% certification score, they get 2 free re-attempts.

Further USM assessment attempts would cost £30.

User Story Masterclass Course Prerequisites

Attendees make the most of the online course if they:

  • Have been on a team that carries out, or are closely involved in, software or product development endeavors.

Refunds/Cancellations Policy

For remote/online courses, your refund will be processed in the following scenario:

  1. Cancellation/Postponement By You – You may decide to cancel or postpone your course up to 72 hours before the first day of the remote/online course… no questions asked! You can either opt for alternative course date or ask for a full (100%) refund. The other course date is subject to our schedule and availability is not guaranteed. If we are unable to offer you your desired date, your money will be refunded.
  2. Cancellation/postponement By Edinburgh Agile – In the very unlikely event that we have to cancel your course, you will entitled to either an alternative course date or a full (100%). In such a scenario, all participants will be informed well in advance via email.
  3. Last Minute Cancellation or No-shows by You – No refund is offered if you do not contact us 72 hours (or more) in advance, or do not show up on the day, of the workshop. Informing one day before the class is also considered no-show and no refund is offered in such cases.
  4. Content/Trainer quality – For any of our remote/online training courses, you are offered the first 25% of the duration of the course to review and decide. If you feel that the trainer or training is unable to match up to your expectations regarding quality and delivery, directly notify the trainer by private message and then exit the session. You will be entitled to 100% of your money refuned.

Refund FAQs

Q. How soon will my refund be processed?
A. Your refund will be processed within 24 hours of your request, from the Edinburgh Agile side. Your bank may take 3-5 days.

Q. Do you contact me when I request a refund?
A. We may contact you to understand your feedback but never to persuade you against the refund.

Q. Can I buy future courses if I asked for a refund now?
A. Of course. There is no reason for not having you in our future courses! You are very welcome to join in any of our future courses!

Q. Will I keep getting the free content and support if I asked for a refund?
A. We won’t segregate or block you if you have asked for a refund. You will still be able to explore our free content, remain a member of our LinkedIn groups, and attend our webinars, offline free/paid events or workshops.