Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Lisa Meloncon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Liane Robertson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carl Herndl, Ph.D.


Agile, Information Technology, Project Management, Software Development, Technical and Professional Communication


Purpose: The “story” format used in Scrum ticket writing is confusing to developers and leadsto insufficient ticket content, which lends to miscommunication between team members and administrators, and disrupts workflow from the bottom up. A burgeoning methodology in Technical Writing, Purpose, Audience, Design (PAD) is an alternative ticket format that is easier to teach developers and improves the aforementioned conditions than the existing “story” format. The goal of this paper is to lay out why and how PAD can benefit developers on smaller Scrum teams who are tasked with writing their own tickets. This paper does not offer solutions for larger Scrum teams who operate with a designated Scrum Master.

Method: This paper begins with an introduction to the arguments being made, a section definingterms used in the paper, and basic background information to set the stage. I then review the classic “story” ticket format in detail and establish what the problem is by providing workplace experience as examples of where the “story” format fails in small software development teams. This thesis also includes a review of existing literature on PAD and rhetorical methodology, how PAD can work as a remedy in the workplace, and examples of this working successfully in 3 different software development teams. After, the paper offers an implementation chapter to discuss the basics of how PAD can be automated as a format. This thesis closes with a discussion section that touches on future research suggestions and additional thoughts concerning the continuation and potential application of this research. This paper is a departure from other academic works on the subject because it centers my real workplace experience as a valid alternative source of knowledge in the absence of robust formal research.

Results: The paper posits that PAD is a beneficial ticket format alternative to offer to frustrateddevelopers who are tasked with writing their own tickets. It successfully emphasizes that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to all Scrum workplace communication issues but rather a reasonable solution to offer developers, one that there is no reason not to at least try out— especially in small to mid-size tech companies. In addition to this, the thesis offers additional suggestions to those interested in continuing the work and supports the current work of PAD being brought to more programs seeking to produce competent technical writers.

Conclusion: Improving the rules used to write tickets and approach project planning betterscommunication, speeds up workflow, and eases tension between developers and administrators. Administrators are more satisfied with ticketing that clearly lays out the information they require for project management and developers are happy with a simplified process for something they’re tasked with regularly. PAD should be taught in technical writing programs, incorporated in the workplace, and featured as a standard aspect of on-the-job training. In particular, PAD should be offered to Scrum practitioners frustrated with their ticket writing format and has many potential applications beyond this paper.