You’ve just had a brilliant idea…

Quick! What’s your next step? Write a user story! And if possible, some business objectives.

Quick! What’s your next step? Write a user story! And if possible, some business objectives.

There is nothing as exciting as the spark of a new idea. On goes that lightbulb and your head fills with a hundred and one ways that this new app / feature / website will be the NEXT. BIG. THING.

Ok Edison, your next step is to get the idea out of your head and onto paper.

1. Begin by writing down every user story you can think of
Each user story should describe one action or one goal that a user needs to be able to accomplish and then note the associated feature.

For example:
“User Story: Users need to be able to easily share articles on Facebook.”
“Feature: Facebook like button on all blog pages”

The goal when writing user stories is to be as granular as possible and get down on paper as much of your app functionality as you can. When it comes to software development nothing can be taken for granted, so if you want something to be possible in your app, you better write it a user story.

2. Now, start a list of your business objectives
Create a new document and write down your business objectives.

If you are just getting going on your business, this may be a bit of a challenge. In that case I advise that your business objectives should be simple and straightforward.

For example:
“Grow our newsletter list”
“Start generating revenue”
“Create a minimum viable product”

3. Use your business objectives to prioritize your user stories & start a feature spec
Return to your user stories document and map every user story to its associated business objective.

Your goal at this stage is to consider every feature and analyze whether or not it serves a clear business goal. The more cutthroat you can be, the better! No one has ever complained that a software development project was too simple.

When you have prioritized your user stories, start a third document: your feature specification.

This is where it gets fun! Here you start to write out all of the features that will make up version one of your awesome new app.

Need a little bit more to get those user-story-business-objective-feature-spec-writing juices going? Check out our example document, the very same one we use for all Skillcrush brilliant ideas.