are user personas always mandatory

Last post 02:46 am December 30, 2021
by Visweswar Bulusu
3 replies
05:29 pm December 29, 2021

Hello All - Good morning ! 

I understand the importance of user personas in the context of agile product development.

However, my question is to do with products where the functionality is pretty secular (and may I add simple)....e.g. a product where all users are allowed to upload pictures of their meals with relevant data   and then have the ability to view them online.  At this point, let us assume the functionality is about this much.  Considering this is a straightforward functionality which is applicable to all users (irrespective of demographics), do we still need to create user personas for this engagement ?


Thank you ! 





05:41 pm December 29, 2021

I'm going to assume you are asking this in relation to Scrum since you are posting in the forums.   

User personas are not mentioned anywhere in the Scrum Guide.  If you search for the term in the guide you get exactly 0 occurrences.  So to answer your question, no they are not always mandatory. 

User personas are something most commonly associated to user stories.  User stories are also not mentioned anywhere in the Scrum Guide.  They were not developed for any specific practice, framework or methodology commonly seen as an agile practice.  They were first mentioned in regard to an agile practice in Extreme Programming (XP) but they were introduced prior to XP. 

Having said all of that user personas and user stories are often used by Scrum Teams to aid in the definition of Product Backlog Items.  However, they are not required or even prescribed by the Scrum Guide.  And as to the elements of user stories and user personas, I do not believe anything is required.  As with all things agile, it is up to the people doing the work to decide what and how to use them. 

05:42 pm December 29, 2021

If things are straightforward you may not need an agile way of working at all.

In Scrum, each Sprint is a learning experiment. Why not use the tools and techniques available to you, including personas, to learn about the challenge you are facing and to optimize value?

02:46 am December 30, 2021

Thanks Daniel and Ian for your responses.

Daniel - Yes this is for scrum.  Thanks for your inputs

Ian - Great point that a straightforward project may not need agile.   In future if the product provides different services  - like diet data for calorie concious users,   tracking nutrition for users with specific diseases, etc ,  user personas may come into the picture. We will work to impress this upon the client. Thanks you !