top of page

Apply code- DEAL15 to get 15 percent off on all courses

How to Split User Story

Updated: Feb 9

How to Split User Story

In the realm of agile development, the concept of splitting user stories often prompts questions about the nature of user stories and their intrinsic value. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of user stories, equating them with value. It explores the significance of splitting user stories, delving into various techniques and elucidating the advantages associated with this practice. By the end, readers will gain insights into the essence of user stories and the rationale behind employing user story splitting techniques.

What is User Story?

In software development, user stories are descriptions of features provided by end-users, encompassing requirements, acceptance criteria, priorities, and customer needs. Epics are bundles of user stories, each containing multiple stories that can be further divided. Tasks are activities necessary to complete a specific user story. In summary, user stories capture feature details, epics group related stories, and tasks are activities within a user story's completion.

Why the splitting is done?

“Defeat Them in Detail: The Divide and Conquer Strategy. Look at the parts and determine how to control the individual parts, create dissension, and leverage it.” – Robert Greene

This quote from Robert Greene emphasizes the "Defeat Them in Detail" strategy, which advocates breaking down a larger opponent by targeting and manipulating its individual components. It advises strategically controlling and fostering discord among these parts to weaken the overall structure, making it more susceptible to defeat.

The advantages of splitting the user story are

·      Enhances clarity and simplicity: Breaking down user stories into smaller parts improves comprehension, reducing complexity and making it easier for team members to understand and implement.

·     Streamlines waste elimination: The smaller size of stories facilitates the rapid identification and elimination of non-essential elements, minimizing unnecessary work and enhancing overall efficiency.

·   Optimizes team effort and time: By dividing longer stories into smaller, manageable tasks, teams can work more efficiently, saving time and effort that might be wasted on extensive, monolithic projects.

·       Fosters a sense of achievement: Completing individual user stories provides a tangible sense of accomplishment for team members, boosting morale and motivation as progress is made incrementally.

·       Accelerates feedback loop: Faster completion and delivery of smaller user stories lead to quicker feedback cycles, allowing teams to adapt and iterate more rapidly based on user and stakeholder input.

How to split user stories?

Splitting user stories in agile development is a nuanced process aimed at delivering incremental value to customers. The key lies in identifying independent, high-value increments of functionality that can stand alone and provide immediate benefits. By prioritizing features, distinguishing between functional and non-functional requirements, and slicing across layers or employing vertical slicing, teams ensure that each user story delivers a complete, usable feature. Dependency analysis and the use of acceptance criteria help delineate story boundaries and minimize interdependence, fostering concurrent development. Striving for user stories of a size manageable within a single sprint facilitates continuous delivery, with regular customer feedback informing adaptations and refinements. In essence, the art of splitting user stories involves strategic planning to deliver shippable, customer-centric value at each iteration.

Here we have to follow two main rules

1. Ensure that when breaking down user stories, the resulting tasks still represent meaningful and valuable increments of work, preserving the essence of the original user story.


2. Break down user stories into manageable parts that can be feasibly completed within the time frame of a single sprint, promoting a more efficient and organized development process.

The techniques used for splitting the user stories are:

1. Splitting by Role: This technique involves dividing user stories based on roles, such as admin, seller, and buyer. Often, one story may require more effort, while others serve as adaptations.


2. Splitting by Workflow: As you work on a user story, you may identify inherent workflows. Each step in the workflow is then separated into individual user stories, allowing for a more granular approach.


3. Splitting by Business Rules: User stories with clear business rules are divided based on the specific rules they entail. This includes conditions or logical connections between parameters, ensuring a focused breakdown.


4. Splitting by Platform or Browsers: Categorizing user stories based on the platforms used, including operating systems, device types, and browsers. This approach ensures tailored development for various environments.


5. Splitting by Acceptance Criteria: User stories are scrutinized through the lens of acceptance criteria. The epics are then split into different user stories, each aligned with specific acceptance criteria, ensuring precise development goals.


6. Splitting by Zero/One/Many Techniques: When user stories remain extensive even after initial splitting, this technique further divides patterns into zero, one, and multiple scenarios, allowing for a more manageable breakdown.


7. Splitting by Mixing Techniques: To address complex patterns, a combination of all the above methods is employed. This integrated approach ensures a comprehensive and effective user story splitting process, tailored to specific project requirements.

“Business needs people who can think by themselves, who can take initiative and be the solution for a problem.” - Stephen Covey

Overall, Covey is highlighting that in a rapidly changing and competitive business landscape, companies benefit from individuals who can think independently, take the initiative, and actively contribute to solving problems. These qualities contribute to a more dynamic and innovative work environment, fostering growth and success for both the individual and the organization.

Agilinks is a forward-thinking Agile Coaching and IT services company specializing in end-to-end Digital Transformation. We focus on SAFe implementation, collaborating with global organizations to excel in Agile execution. Visit for SAFe insights or contact us at  for Agile training and consulting services. We're also seeking skilled agile trainers to join our agility journey.

To know more..


Change colour Agilinks Logo.png
Online Training - Helping with your L&D

We are an online Training company based in UK and supporting globally

Post Archive 


bottom of page