Someone probably told you that you must have user stories to be Agile, right? But really, you don’t need user stories to be agile! I would have you consider what kinds of stakeholders and requirements you have and are trying to meet.
Is there a clear user for each piece of work you are supposed to do? If that is the case you can use user stories. User stories is one style of requirements but is not always the best style for requirements. I am not totally clear about what the scope of your project is but I am suspecting that there is not always clear a user as you have problems to formulate the user stories.
Scrum and other agile methods do not require or mandate that you use the user story style. That is why items in the backlog are simply called “backlog items”. Whatever style you choose for your requirements and backlog items it is important that you make sure that the backlog items have the INVEST properties. If they don’t, it will be harder to be agile. But they don’t have to be written in the “user story” style. You don’t need user stories…
- Post it user stories: Roger Greenhalgh | Flickr | CC BY NC SA 2.0
Have you thought about this: user stories are requirements, backlog items are work packages. There is not always a 1:1 mapping.