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Shit User S̶t̶o̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ Story

Over Christmas 2020 the shitlondonguinness Twitter and Instagram accounts blew up. Jamie Dornan talked about them on Graham Norton. Niall Horan name-dropped them in fan chats.

Now there's shitlondonguinness merchandise, which I am yet to buy - but will buy.

Remarkably over the past week, another shit________ Twitter account appeared, and has already amassed over 16,000 followers. It's an absolute hoot.

Shit User S̶t̶o̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ Story is hilarious because - sadly - the stories it describes aren't always detached from Product Management reality. I've seen, and written, some absolutely horrific user stories in my time.

Just in case you don't know what a user story is (lucky you), it's

"...the smallest unit of work in an agile framework. It’s an end goal, not a feature, expressed from the software user’s perspective."

Or, maybe user stories are

"...a way of representing bits of functionality required by the stakeholders in such a way as to generate the maximum amount of discussion among team members, helping them work together to turn requirements into working software."

Whoops. That one reads a bit different.

And that's the problem with them. Like any framework for anything, or any book about anything, people extract their own meaning from the content. No two humans connect the dots in exactly the same way. The Agile Manifesto - and it's principles - have taken on scary, varied lives of their own.

The end result? People and teams often don't understand the meaning - or intent - of user stories in the same way. User stories become company goal stories. Or self-review stories. Not user stories.

That's why Shit User S̶t̶o̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ Stories is as hilarious as it is. For Product Managers (or, recovering Product Managers like I am), it's an outlet to laugh at ourselves. And explain ourselves to ourselves.

Read it and weep. I cried with laughter when I read the first few Tweets. Comedy gold.