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PM Believer: What’s Your Story?

I am a believer in the power of project management.

As a professional project manager for nearly twenty years, I have witnessed project success drive business results. I have also proven that project management can change lives and help achieve personal transformation. Now I am sharing some practical tips and techniques that you can use to help achieve your own personal goals, live your best life and become a PM Believer.

What’s Your Story?

Early in the life of PM Believer, I shared a series called Living The Agile Life. This series explored tools and techniques from Agile-based project management and how to apply them to your personal goals. As I started planning to update my personal goals, I realized that I had missed an important technique. So, today’s article is going to clean up my miss and will focus on User Stories.

In Baby Got Backlog, I introduced the Agile backlog, where all requested scope items (usually product features) are contained. What I didn’t talk about in this article was the actual contents of the backlog; this is where we often leverage User Stories.

User stories document individual scope items requested for a project. They are written more informally in everyday language and are not the same as detailed requirements. But, they are written in a standard format, and that is where their power lies. 

As a [type of user], I want [the goal] so I can [the value of or reason for the story].

This three-step structure requires us to consider several important factors when writing down a goal, not just what we want.

The first portion is the type of user. Multiple user groups leverage most software applications (the usual place where Agile is applied). By defining the type of user as the first step, you quickly clarify which user group (or persona) the story impacts.

It may sound strange, but defining the type of user is an essential step in our personal goals. 

Each of us wears multiple hats and plays various roles in our lives. We can be husbands and wives, parents, consultants, business owners, homeowners, athletes and many more. We can have different goals in each of these areas of our lives. So, as you start crafting your goals, it is helpful to know which part of your life or role this goal impacts.

The second part of the story format is your goal. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t dwell on it in the interest of brevity. It is simply a statement of what you want to accomplish.

The final section of the user story format is the most important because it is the “why” behind the story. In Agile projects, this section of the user story is how some requested features get prioritized and included in the software while others never make it. This defines the value of the story.

As I said in Remember Your Why, the stronger your “why,” or your business case, for your goal, the higher the probability is that your “why” will carry you through the hard times. A good “why” makes a crushable goal. In a user story, that “why” is built right into the structure of the story.

Here’s an example of the user story I created for PM Believer:

As an author and coach, I want to create a weekly article series exploring how project management can be applied to personal goals so I can help people achieve their goals instead of letting them die of loneliness.

As you build your backlog of all of the goals you would like to accomplish, try leveraging user stories. Then, at a glance, you can know what you want to achieve for which role in your life and why. This will help you prioritize your goals and help make sure they come to fruition.

Are you ready to be a PM Believer?

Are you building a backlog of goals and dreams that you want to accomplish in your life? If so, try this simple yet powerful format to help ensure that you know the whole story behind your goal.

How have you applied project management for your personal success? Tell me about it at and make sure to join my email list to have updates delivered to your inbox weekly.

Make sure to help your friends achieve their goals by sharing this post on your social network and by following me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Want to know more about how I changed my life with project management? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.

About Operation Melt

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip you to achieve your big goals.

Will you join me in building a world where goals never die of loneliness?

Published inPM Believer

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