It's absolutely amazing what you find when you search for an excel template for stories. I went through a number of options. First it was 'excel storyboard template' (as suggested by Google when I started typing) which lead me to any number of tools to help you storyboard your power point presentation, your short animated film or book.
Then 'excel story template' leading me to short story outlines for fairytales, dragons, magic and adventure. The next time I think about writing a book, I now know there are all sorts of templates to follow!
So what could I find? A number of reports which are available if you purchase software like Sharepoint, TFS etc. Of course, that means you have to buy the tool to get those reports.
The best template I have found is on Henrik Kniberg's blog. It's straightfoward and yet has enough detail to plan with and, the BIG thing, allows you to print off the story cards for the wall. I can't believe how many tools ignore this basic need for an Agile team! Here is our version of the same spreadsheet with a few modifications:
In the recent VersionOne 'State of Agile development' survey the number one tool which was used for Agile projects was Excel – if that's the case then why could I only find 3 templates out there in the big-old wide world of the interweb?
Since it's the simplest tool to set something like this up in, then everyone probably has their own favourite. What do you like? What is most useful about the template you use? If you have something that you've used which you like, then share it with us! let me know and I'll add it to the list here.
Here are the few interesting excel templates out there:
- Equinox Agile Practice 2011 – release backlog story template
- Henrick Kniberg 2007 – Index Card Generator
- Artem Marchenko 2008 – Simple Product Backlog template
- Too simple – but a basic start. It will give a release level summary. It has a video tutorial.
- Petri Heiramo 2008 – Advanced product and Sprint backlog template
- A lot more comprehensive and allows sprint planning (tasks) as well as release planning. However printing is only of tasks not stories. There is also a video tutorial.
- (Updated 27 October 2015) We have recently written a blog post JIRA and Trello user stories - how to customise and print them and made available an Excel template for customising the printing of JIRA and Trello user stories and thought that these may also be of value to readers of this article.
You may also find out post Agile backlog - The most badly implemented, yet most critical, technique on your project to be of value.