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A user story is a very high-level definition of a requirement, containing just enough information so that the people completing it can produce a reasonable estimate of the effort to implement it. A user story will contain tasks that need to be completed. When all of those tasks are done, the story is also done.
A task is a specific thing that needs to be completed, typically within a deadline. Time is reported on tasks.
Basically, user stories are on a higher level than tasks. A user story is a broader definition of what should be implemented, e.g. New login screen, while a task could be, e.g. Add button to login screen.
User stories are made to fit into specific sprints in agile, while tasks in Waterfall are tasks for the whole project and must be completed within a phase or milestone.
User stories are generally created by clients, the team, or the project owner, before being added to a sprint. Tasks on the other hand are most often created by the project manager or team members to carry out the work.
Thereby, an agile project will always have both a story board, and a task board, while a waterfall project will only have a task board. Moreover, an agile project is managed through the use of the backlog, and sprint planning.
Below, you can see the difference between a story and a task in agile, compared to the task in waterfall.
User story - Agile
Task - Agile
Task - Waterfall
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