What is the difference between a story and a task

I use a Kanban board and for the issues that I have been creating, i have been assigning my issues to be tasks, but am now questioning whether or not I should be making them stories instead.

So my question is, what is the actual difference between a task and a story? Is there any real benefit of using one over the other?

2 answers

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At risk of stating the obvious the difference between a task and a story is whatever you determine the two issuetypes to be used for. 

Having said that there are some common examples of differences that can help you phrase the decision.

A story is often written using a standard format such as "As a <role>, I want <feature> so that <reason>."

with possible expansion then beyond the simple statement.

Whereas a task might be something more along the lines of "Undertake review of CI build agent usage". 

The benefit of having the different issue types allows you to handle the expected workflow in different ways. The split between story and task can go further for example you could have different issue types to distinguish items that are related to technical debt, potential change requests, performance testing, etc. etc. It all depends on how you want to handle the workflow and describe the activity.

I suppose my issue was relating more towards what is commonly used by others since the issue types are in fact, mostly arbitrary. 

As you note, in JIRA the difference is only what you say it is...

That being said, what distinguishes a Task from anything else in our shop is that there is no QA, UAT, or release steps required and actual deliverable(s) are optional.

So.... It is Created, To Do, In progress, Done. Simple work flow, No QA, Deliverable(s) optional.

Hope that helps.

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