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In Jira when you create a user story, what do we need to fill in under the "Summary" field?


In my organization we are having a debate regarding the following topic: whether under the Summary field we are supposed to fill in the voice of the customer statement (As A User I Want X So that Y) or an actual summary of the story like Order Management?

I believe that the "As a User bla bla" statement should be filled in the Description field and not the Summary field, but some of my other colleagues are arguing that it should be in the Summary.

Is there an official response/good practice from the Atlassian community that can confirm 100% what should be written down in the Summary field of a user story?




2 answers

2 accepted

1 vote
Answer accepted

Hi @Daniela Brat 

It can be either.

I've seen teams utilise Summary for the user story, so that they can see it when utilising Story-based swimlanes on a board. These swimlanes show the sub-tasks below a story, but the Summary is visible along the top of the swimlane itself.

Other teams use Description so the story and the acceptance criteria can be listed together.

There's no right answer, but I prefer to use Description, mainly because:

  • We aim to keep the Summaries short, approx. 3-5 words. This means Summaries are usually fully visible on a card on the board, which can help prompt users during stand-ups, etc
  • Summary has a limit of 255 characters - not all stories are that short
  • I find it easier to view the story / acceptance criteria together, to help make that link during delivery and testing


1 vote
Answer accepted
Jack Community Leader Feb 02, 2021

Well it is personal preference but when I use “story” I do follow “as a xxx user” but if I use “task” I am less strict.

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