We are pleased to announce the launch of StoriesOnBoard public beta, the online user story mapping tool.
We created it because we love user story mapping and we are extensively using it in our projects. By always making visible the entire scope it forces us to think global. It prevent us from loosing in unimportant details. I mean, how many times did you realize that someone in your team or your customer just stuck in finding the perfect solution to a … not so important problem. How many wasted hours, or even days… While there are many other tasks that are more important by far. That’s where the visualization of a story map can help a lot.
But we had a huge problem: the amount of space needed. Simply we didn’t have enough board and wall space at our office. Even when we tried to make bigger maps for real life projects, we faced another problem: rigidity. It may sound strange for an agile practice like user story mapping, so let me explain. From week to week as we were discovering the domain we found new tasks (user tasks as Jeff Patton calls them in his incredible article). Then: How do you insert a new task in the middle of the map? Shift all the others with all their subtasks. That didn’t work for us. We just found out that ideas were dropped (or merged) just because we thought they didn’t worth the effort of rearranging the board.
So we tried it with MS Excel and Google Spreadsheet. For some time it worked, but we needed more.
We tried some online tools. For some time it worked, but you know… we wanted something else:
- “Something that looks impressive enough to use it on executive meetings.”
- “Something that is pleasure to use in everyday work. “ – like…
- taking notes of ideas while we are just chatting about the product, the possibilities (and the impossibilities)
- get a quick overview on the team’s status meetings
- share it with our remote team members and clients enabling them to see the big picture any time and what’s more important: taking notes of their ideas while they were experimenting with the product.
After a year of after-hours development StoriesOnBoard public beta was born. We launched it publicly to see how valuable is it for others. We are eager to know about your challenges on user story mapping, managing scope, keeping deadlines and your opinion about the tool. Your feedback is welcome.
We hope that you’ll enjoy using StoriesOnBoard at least as much as we enjoy developing it.
The Development Team