We updated our popular article – Useful resources for user story mapping. We reworked and remastered our old link collection and added the newest articles.  This is the first part of users story mapping – weekend reading. We hope you’ll enjoy it!

 

Jeff Patton: The new user story backlog is a map

Teaser:  Arranging user stories into a helpful shape – a map has worked well for me. It’s a simple idea really. At the top of the map are “big stories.” I call them user activities (borrowing the term from UX people like Larry Constantine and Don Norman). An activity is sort of a big thing that people do – something that has lots of steps, and doesn’t always have a precise workflow. If I was building an email system (which I’d never be foolish enough to do) I might have an activity called: “managing email”, and “configuring email servers”, and “setting up out of office responses.”  Read more…

 

Jeff Patton: It’s All in how you Slice

Teaser:  You expected that all those high-value features would make a great product, but it turned out you needed some of those low-value features to hold everything together—to make the product useful to those trying to accomplish work with the software. If you still want to release the software incrementally, how do you choose a first bundle of features that is both high value and immediately useful? In this article, we’ll walk through a simple, collaborative, card-based planning model that does just that. Read more…

 

David Hawks: Story Mapping 101  (highly recommended)

Teaser: Backlogs can be confusing. They typically start off with a high-level list of features, which we call “epics” that make sense to everyone involved. However, as we start decomposing all the way down to sprintable stories soon everyone will be lost and the only person with the decoder ring is the Product Owner. They are the only one who knows how all the sub stories tie back up and relate to each other. The challenges presented by traditional backlogs is they do not convey any notion of workflow. This makes it difficult to recognize if any gaps exist. Also, we lose business context when trying to prioritize all the smaller stories against each other. Read more…

Reese Schmit: Story Mapping 201 – Story Mapping Mid-Project (highly recommended)

Teaser: Here’s where the magic happens: The biggest issue we tend to have with our giant 150 ticket backlog is that not everything is truly vertically sliced nor are they sized correctly. When we take those 150 stories and place them where they belong in the steps of the user’s journey, we find the places that we should roll things up. Things we thought were independent are really creating dependencies. We find tiny little stories when we could deliver one large chunk easily inside of a sprint that is fully valuable and a complete thought. Read more…

 

Andrea Gigante: Creating an Agile Road Map Using Story Mapping

Teaser: We know that a prioritized backlog helps us understand what to do next, but sometimes it’s difficult to grasp where we are and where we should go — especially if we just dive into a big project that’s been started, with hundreds of stories and/or issues already created. To solve these situations, I have found it very useful to manage the roadmap and backlog with the help of a story map. Read more…

 

 

Further articles

 

Shane Hastie & Angela Wick:  User Stories And Use Cases – Don’t Use Both!

Teaser: One of the benefits obtained by building a Story Map that shows the logical flow of activities (from Epic to Epic along the top) and the discrete elements of those Epics vertically down the page is the ability to clearly see both sequence and priority. Stories that are higher up on the map are more important (needed sooner) than those lower down. The prioritization and sequencing approach enables the discovery of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – those elements which need to be delivered to provide the opportunity to learn and adapt the product based on feedback from real customers/users. Finding the true essence of the product and getting that into the hands of real customers (probably just a small subset initially but enough to get feedback to validate the assumptions being made in the development of the product). Read more…

 

 Gojko Adzic: Splitting user stories – the hamburger method

Teaser: Inexperienced teams often can’t get their heads around splitting stories into smaller stories that still deliver business value. But they will happily break a story down into technical workflow or component tasks. I like the idea of User Story Maps which show the big picture under a breakdown of a business workflow. We can do the same on a much lower level, for tasks making up a user story, keeping the team in their comfort zone. Then we use this breakdown to identify different levels of quality for each step, and create vertical slices to identify smaller deliverables. Read more…

 

 

 

 

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Useful resources for user story mapping

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