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The problem: there's a shop which also sells its products online. A client must be logged in in order to buy online, but first he must be registered by a salesman on the shop.

My question is whether the user story for register client should be:

  • As a client I want to be registered so that I can buy online.
  • As a salesman I want to register a client so that he can buy online.

I know the one who gets the benefit is the client, but the one who has the power to do this registration is the salesman. To sum up, who should be my actor in this case?

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The story format is just a guidelines. The persona's help the team to step into their shoes a bit.

I think you can combine both into a single story:

As CHANTAL the cafe owner, when I am at the wholesale business, I want JIM the SALESPERSON to register me into the ordering system, so that I can order stuff online when I am not in the wholesale-shop, because this saves me a lot of travel time.

  • Make it real persons, clients says nothing. It is hard to relate to. Preferable real clients or users that you sometimes speak to.
  • Add the change in behaviour, ordering online is not the reason this client wants to be registered. Have a look at impact mapping to improve the value of your stories.

Don't be limited by a single Actor/Persona and feel free to add less or more information. Certainly don't try to push data into the format when for example a short description and some bullet points would also suffice. I have seen Product Owners write user stories just to change the text of a label. Use common sense.

Other sources:

Jeff Patton will shift your paradigms when it comes to the use of user stories. I think it is worth to invest some time in.

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It depends why the registration is even necessary. I've never met anyone who enjoyed registering for services. Start by asking why users need to register. The actual registration is an implementation detail, not a need.

What's stopping users from being able to order without registering? If the answer is 'nothing', consider scrapping the story or making it optional. If 'X', then your story is 'As Y, I want X' or 'As Y, I want users to register so that X.'

For example:

  • As a client, I don't want to have to enter my address and credit card every time I place an order. (In which case, best to make registration optional)
  • As a marketing manager, I want to be able to track which people are ordering which items.

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