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Ideas for Splitting Large User Stories

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During iteration planning, sometimes user stories need to be split so that they can be better handled. Here are a few ideas for doing just that.

Split according to data boundaries:
Try splitting based on the data needed to support the story, like region (i.e. northeast, southeast, etc.), instead of everything (i.e. U.S.).

Split by operation:
Make an effort to split stories into separate CRUD operations (i.e. create, read, update, destroy).

Separate performance requirements:
If a story is made complicated by specific performance requirements, split the functional and non-functional requirements into separate stories (i.e. Story 1: Make the chart screen; Story 2: Make it respond in < 1 second).

Split by Priority:
If a large story has pieces that have different priorities, split them into separate stories.

For more on when and how to split stories, I highly recommend reading Mike Cohn's book, Agile Estimating and Planning.

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