«  View More Posts

What Is A User Story in a Pricing Software Project?

February 10th, 2023 (Updated 03/09/2023) | 11 min. read

By George Kavalieratos & Ken Edwards

If you are on the lookout for an out-of-the-box pricing software solution that will cure all your company’s pricing issues with hardly any tailoring and configuration to your business requirements or how your organization approaches its pricing, the chances are that you are going to be disappointed. Either that, or your company’s business model is incredibly simple with few personalized or specific wants and needs. In an era where continuous change and transformation are increasingly normal, and businesses just like yours look for unique strategies and approaches to adapt to market conditions, creating your own bespoke pricing capabilities roadmap and related user stories that describe your business objectives will be critical to a successful implementation and eventual everyday use of pricing software. That’s exactly why we have created this article on ‘What is a User Story in a Pricing Software Project.’  

At Pricefx, as a next-generation pricing software vendor, we have spent the last dozen years addressing diverse kinds of business challenges that our customers and prospects regularly have. As such, Pricefx is perfectly placed to discuss exactly what kind of pricing capabilities will be the best fit to help your business make the most of your pricing technology investment and those that will be most advantageous to bring your company’s unique set of business goals to life.  

However, to get started, let’s look at how these pricing capabilities and business objectives will be tailored to your needs with the use of user stories, what a user story is with specific pricing software examples, who should be involved in creating user stories, how a user story stacks up against a use case, and finally, the benefits and drawbacks of user stories. 

What is a User Story? 

A user story is a tool commonly used in Agile software development to capture a description of a feature or requirement from an end-user perspective.  


The purpose of a user story is to provide a clear and concise description of the value that a particular feature will bring to the end-user. This value is often described in terms of a specific user or persona, such as a “customer” or “prospect,” a specific action and an objective, such as “improving our price optimization of our list prices” or even as broad as improving or plugging our margin leakage.” 

Whilst finer and more specific details will eventually be required to bring the user story to life, it is also important to have the starting point for addressing your business requirements defined. These are often referred to as “Epics” in the user story landscape. 


Eventually those epics will be broken down into ways by which the overall business objective will achieved, such as ’how I am going to segment my customers and products and define my micro segments?’ 


Depending on your company’s unique set of business goals, you may want to break down that broader user story even further into, to develop a highly specific user story such as:


“I want to estimate the target price for each micro segment, so that my sales team can offer it to our customers from a startup point for price negotiation in our optimized price corridor.”

Stepping back from pricing software specifics for a moment to fully understand the role of a user story and what it seeks to capture, the key component of agile software development is putting people first, and a user story puts end users at the center of those conversations.  

After reading a user story, the team knows what they are building and why, and what value it creates for the customer or prospect.


More User Story Examples in a Pricing Software Project  

For example, in a pricing software project, a user story might be written as: 

“As a sales representative, I want to be able to quickly and easily adjust the prices of our products, so that I can respond to changes in the market and stay competitive.” 

Or another pricing software related user story could be; 

“As a pricing analyst, I want to generate automated reports on revenue and profit margins with different pricing scenarios, so that I can make informed decisions on pricing strategy.” 

User stories help provide a user-focused framework for daily work — which drives collaboration, creativity, and a better software solution overall. If, like most businesses, you want pricing software to become a more profitable investment – the better your user stories – the better your profit outcomes are bound to be. 

The flip side of that equation is that to have the absolute best user story for your business, it is entirely up to you to define what you want from the pricing software technology. The user story can only be as good as how accurate you are setting your business objectives. 


Who Should be Involved in Creating a User Story? 

Every business is unique and may have different requirements as to who should be involved in creating user stories. Consider involving the following people in your organization’s pricing software user story creation: 

  • Product Owners: They will be responsible for ensuring that the software meets the needs of the business and that it aligns with the overarching pricing strategy.  
  • Sales representatives: As first-end users of the pricing software (e.g. price recommendations for deal guidance), your salespeople will have a good understanding of the needs of the end user and the requirements for the software. 
  • Finance Team: The Finance Team provides insights into how the software will be used to measure profitability, generate reports, and make pricing decisions. 
  • Marketing team: For pricing strategy insights and how it will impact the positioning and messaging of your products. 
  • IT team: Your IT Team will be able to provide guidance on the feasibility of different features and requirements, not to mention where your data sits to incorporate with your pricing software. 
  • Legal team: They will ensure that the software is compliant with any applicable laws and regulations. 


What is a Use Case vs a User Story? 


A use case is a description of how a user interacts with a pricing software system to achieve a specific pricing or business goal. It is a written document that outlines the steps that the user will take to accomplish their chosen pricing task written at a very high level, along with any exceptions or error conditions that may occur. Use cases are often used in pricing software development to describe the functionality of a system and to serve as a blueprint for the system’s design. They can also be used to create test cases to validate the pricing system’s functionality. 

Think of a use case as the process . For example, imagine you are a cook who has a goal of preparing the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The use case would describe through a series of written steps how as the cook you would go about preparing that delicious sandwich. 

As mentioned previously, a user story, on the other hand, is a simple, informal description of a feature or functionality from the perspective of an end user, written in such a way that is easy for both developers and stakeholders to understand. 

While both use cases and user stories serve the same purpose of describing the requirements for a system, there are some key differences between the two.


Use cases are typically more formal and detailed and provide a step-by-step description of how a user interacts with the pricing software. It may even include elements such as instructions as how to log-on to your pricing software and in which module to locate your price optimization tool. They also tend to be more focused on the system’s functionality, rather than the user’s goals.


User stories, on the other hand, are less formal and more focused on the user’s goals such as ‘plug my margin gaps while optimizing the prices for my products across all geographies I operate in’ and are most often written from the user’s perspective. 

In summary, use cases and user stories are both used to describe your pricing software requirements, but they are different in terms of format, level of detail, and focus. But the wonderful thing is that when working together, both can help you to achieve comprehensive data-driven and automated solutions to your organization’s pricing needs. 


3 Benefits of User Stories in a Pricing Software Project 

User stories are a crucial tool in the agile development process, and through our experience over the years, we have identified 3 key benefits in a pricing software project:

  1. The number one benefit of user stories in a pricing software project is for the development team to obtain a clear and concise understanding of the objectives that you as clients require from your pricing software solution. Yes, of course it means you get the great end product that you want that optimizes your prices, while cutting your quotation times, all simultaneously without missing a beat. Your great user stories will assist our development team in augmenting your user needs because the focus is on you.  
  2. User stories build team bonds creating better outcomes for all – When a teamwork mentality is created between the business team and the development team, it keeps all parties motivated and working towards a unified purpose. From the Pricefx perspective, the better the user story, the better our development team are motivated in the moment, working flexibly and creatively to find the precise pricing and business solutions for each of our pricing software users. Trust is built as the development team is solely focused on the most key features that you have specifically requested. 
  3. User Stories are efficient and help to deliver pricing software projects on time – As the functionality and requirements of any specific pricing software project are defined and itemized in the user story, there is little chance of items slipping between the cracks. At the end of the day, what that means are faster implementations and, along with that, optimized Return to Investment time (ROI).  



3 Drawbacks of User Stories in a Pricing Software Project 

While user stories can be a valuable tool in a pricing software project, they can also have some drawbacks. 

  1. Firstly, one potential drawback is that user stories may not provide enough detail for the development team to fully understand the pricing software functionality requested. This can lead to confusion and rework, which can be time-consuming and costly. Additionally, user stories may not always be written by people with a technical background, so the development team may have to spend extra time interpreting or clarifying the requirements. 
  2. User stories may not always be independent. In other words, that means that they can be dependent on other user stories or features, which can lead to delays in the development process. Furthermore, user stories can be difficult to estimate, which can make it challenging to plan and schedule work. 
  3. Finally, when user stories are not well written, they can be too general or too specific, which can lead to misinterpretation. This can result in the development team implementing the wrong pricing software feature or not implementing all the necessary functionality. 

As a final takeaway, it is important to remember that user stories are not always detailed technical specifications. They should be simply written, and they should be open to interpretation by the development team. This allows the pricing software development team to produce their own solutions to the problems defined by the user stories, and to flexibly experiment with different approaches.


Get Your Pricing Software Project Started 

Now you know what a user story is and how it applies and why it is an important part of a pricing software project. But armed with that information it might have you beginning to wonder what other steps can help you get prepared for your pricing software project. 

At Pricefx, we have spent a dozen years assisting companies in bringing their pricing software dreams to life. We have discovered that companies unearth the most out of their pricing software and fastest pathway to ROI by sharing a one-hour discovery call straight off the bat rather than jump straight into a demo.    


However, on the other hand, if you have had your discovery call and ensuing scoping workshop, you will want to learn more about how long your pricing software implementation will take and the distinct phases involved:


Happy Pricing! 

George Kavalieratos & Ken Edwards

Senior Project Manager with Customer Solution Sales & Content Writing Lead , Pricefx

George Kavalieratos is a Senior Project Manager with Customer Solution Sales at Pricefx and he has contributed to this article. In his free time, George enjoys traveling, biking and spending time with his wife and two sons. Ken Edwards has many years of experience as a web content writer, from the dawn of time of the internet through to the current day. Included in this are varied topics from scuba diving travel, Australian Government Health & Ageing Policy Initiatives, Online Casino and Sports Betting, Vehicle and other Asset Finance, financial legislation and regulations, and now to AI-informed pricing software with Pricefx. When he’s not busy writing, you’ll usually find him hiking somewhere in Europe with his wife Lucie and his dog Max.