“As an external user, I want to fix that bug, so that I don’t have the bug anymore”


As a scrum master, It’s pretty common for me to meet teams that use the user story term for all sort of backlog elements.

They even try to use the canvas of user stories (the “as… I want… so that…“) for every items, leading to unbearably tickets.

The message

I have a message for all teams:

Not all backlog elements are user stories!

Do you even know that Scrum, for example, never mention the concept of user story?

For scrum, the one and only element that constitutes a backlog is a generic “PBI”, or Product Backlog Item.

Those items could be user stories, bugs, tasks, whatever. To know more about user stories, you’ll find a link at the end of this article to a page where I describe what a user story is, and what is the difference with epics, theme, etc.

Take it easy

Make your life easier by not trying to match the user story pattern to every tasks.

It can be a pain to want to do that, but if it’s so difficult, it’s because the user story canvas was not made for that. The user story describe a user point of view. Not yours, not a technical element. User’s.


I’m not arguing that not all elements from the backlog should not have a user value or be related to users.

I think that even technical stuff should indicate what will the impact be on users.

I’m just saying that you should, and must, avoid using the canvas for every types of backlog elements.

As mentioned earlier, you can find a post describing the user story and epics, and another on with tips to write better user stories.

Please let me know what you think about it.