Agile teams use product backlogs to manage their requirements. Product owners prioritize the user stories. To enable delivering products with sufficient quality agile teams need to have user stories that are ready at the start of an iteration.
Agile teams treat requirements as being stable during an iteration. Ready means that the quality of the user stories is sufficient so that teams can start developing the software.
Teams can use a Definition of Ready (DoR) to check the user stories. A DoR states the criteria that a user story should meet be accepted into an iteration.
Some useful resources to make your own Definition of Ready are:
- The INVEST principle by Bill Wake
- 10 Tips for writing goog user stories by Roman Pichler
- The book User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn
- The book 50 quick ideas to improve your user stories by Gojko Adzic
- Using a Definition of Ready on InfoQ
- Exercise cards for definining your DoR and DoD by David Koontz
Having prioritized user stories with sufficient quality ready at the start of an iteration helps to increase commitment from the stakeholders and the development team and to keep requirements stable during the iteration, resulting in higher product quality.