User Story Mapping

Book description

User story mapping is a valuable tool for software development, once you understand why and how to use it. This insightful book examines how this often misunderstood technique can help your team stay focused on users and their needs without getting lost in the enthusiasm for individual product features.

Author Jeff Patton shows you how changeable story maps enable your team to hold better conversations about the project throughout the development process. Your team will learn to come away with a shared understanding of what you’re attempting to build and why.

  • Get a high-level view of story mapping, with an exercise to learn key concepts quickly
  • Understand how stories really work, and how they come to life in Agile and Lean projects
  • Dive into a story’s lifecycle, starting with opportunities and moving deeper into discovery
  • Prepare your stories, pay attention while they’re built, and learn from those you convert to working software

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Table of contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Foreword by Martin Fowler
  3. Foreword by Alan Cooper
  4. Foreword by Marty Cagan
  5. Preface
    1. Why Me?
    2. This Book Is for You If You’re Struggling with Stories
    3. Who Should Read This Book?
    4. A Few Conventions Used in This Book
      1. The Headings Inside Each Chapter Guide You Through the Subject
    5. How This Book Is Organized
      1. Story Mapping from 10,000 Feet
      2. Grokking User Stories
      3. Better Backlogs
      4. Better Building
    6. Safari® Books Online
    7. How to Contact Us
  6. Read This First
    1. The Telephone Game
    2. Building Shared Understanding Is Disruptively Simple
    3. Stop Trying to Write Perfect Documents
    4. Good Documents Are Like Vacation Photos
    5. Document to Help Remember
    6. Talking About the Right Thing
    7. Now and Later
    8. Software Isn’t the Point
    9. OK, It’s Not Just About People
    10. Build Less
    11. More on the Dreaded “R” Word
    12. That’s All There Is to It
  7. 1. The Big Picture
    1. The “A” Word
    2. Telling Stories, Not Writing Stories
    3. Telling the Whole Story
    4. Gary and the Tragedy of the Flat Backlog
    5. Talk and Doc
    6. Frame Your Idea
    7. Describe Your Customers and Users
    8. Tell Your Users’ Stories
    9. Explore Details and Options
  8. 2. Plan to Build Less
    1. Mapping Helps Big Groups Build Shared Understanding
    2. Mapping Helps You Spot Holes in Your Story
    3. There’s Always Too Much
    4. Slice Out a Minimum Viable Product Release
    5. Slice Out a Release Roadmap
    6. Don’t Prioritize Features—Prioritize Outcomes
    7. This Is Magic—Really, It Is
    8. Why We Argue So Much About MVP
    9. The New MVP Isn’t a Product at All!
  9. 3. Plan to Learn Faster
    1. Start by Discussing Your Opportunity
    2. Validate the Problem
    3. Prototype to Learn
    4. Watch Out for What People Say They Want
    5. Build to Learn
    6. Iterate Until Viable
    7. How to Do It the Wrong Way
    8. Validated Learning
    9. Really Minimize Your Experiments
    10. Let’s Recap
  10. 4. Plan to Finish on Time
    1. Tell It to the Team
    2. The Secret to Good Estimation
    3. Plan to Build Piece by Piece
    4. Don’t Release Each Slice
    5. The Other Secret to Good Estimation
    6. Manage Your Budget
      1. What Would da Vinci Do?
    7. Iterative AND Incremental
    8. Opening-, Mid-, and Endgame Strategy
    9. Slice Out Your Development Strategy in a Map
    10. It’s All About Risk
    11. Now What?
  11. 5. You Already Know How
    1. 1. Write Out Your Story a Step at a Time
      1. Tasks Are What We Do
      2. My Tasks Are Different Than Yours
      3. I’m Just More Detail-Oriented
    2. 2. Organize Your Story
      1. Fill in Missing Details
    3. 3. Explore Alternative Stories
      1. Keep the Flow
    4. 4. Distill Your Map to Make a Backbone
    5. 5. Slice Out Tasks That Help You Reach a Specific Outcome
    6. That’s It! You’ve Learned All the Important Concepts
    7. Do Try This at Home, or at Work
    8. It’s a Now Map, Not a Later Map
    9. Try This for Real
    10. With Software It’s Harder
    11. The Map Is Just the Beginning
  12. 6. The Real Story About Stories
    1. Kent’s Disruptively Simple Idea
    2. Simple Isn’t Easy
    3. Ron Jeffries and the 3 Cs
      1. 1. Card
      2. 2. Conversation
      3. 3. Confirmation
    4. Words and Pictures
    5. That’s It
  13. 7. Telling Better Stories
    1. Connextra’s Cool Template
    2. Template Zombies and the Snowplow
    3. A Checklist of What to Really Talk About
    4. Create Vacation Photos
    5. It’s a Lot to Worry About
  14. 8. It’s Not All on the Card
    1. Different People, Different Conversations
    2. We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Card
    3. Radiators and Ice Boxes
    4. That’s Not What That Tool Is For
      1. Building Shared Understanding
      2. Remembering
      3. Tracking
  15. 9. The Card Is Just the Beginning
    1. Construct with a Clear Picture in Your Head
    2. Build an Oral Tradition of Storytelling
    3. Inspect the Results of Your Work
    4. It’s Not for You
    5. Build to Learn
    6. It’s Not Always Software
    7. Plan to Learn, and Learn to Plan
  16. 10. Bake Stories Like Cake
    1. Create a Recipe
    2. Breaking Down a Big Cake
  17. 11. Rock Breaking
    1. Size Always Matters
    2. Stories Are Like Rocks
    3. Epics Are Big Rocks Sometimes Used to Hit People
    4. Themes Organize Groups of Stories
    5. Forget Those Terms and Focus on Storytelling
    6. Start with Opportunities
    7. Discover a Minimum Viable Solution
    8. Dive into the Details of Each Story During Delivery
    9. Keep Talking as You Build
    10. Evaluate Each Piece
    11. Evaluate with Users and Customers
    12. Evaluate with Business Stakeholders
    13. Release and Keep Evaluating
  18. 12. Rock Breakers
    1. Valuable-Usable-Feasible
    2. A Discovery Team Needs Lots of Others to Succeed
    3. The Three Amigos
    4. Product Owner as Producer
    5. This Is Complicated
  19. 13. Start with Opportunities
    1. Have Conversations About Opportunities
    2. Dig Deeper, Trash It, or Think About It
    3. Opportunity Shouldn’t Be a Euphemism
    4. Story Mapping and Opportunities
    5. Be Picky
  20. 14. Using Discovery to Build Shared Understanding
    1. Discovery Isn’t About Building Software
    2. Four Essential Steps to Discovery
      1. 1. Frame the Idea
      2. 2. Understand Customers and Users
        1. Sketch simple personas
        2. Create organizational profiles or orgzonas
        3. Map how users work today
      3. 3. Envision Your Solution
        1. Map your solution
        2. Words and pictures
        3. Validate completeness
        4. Validate engineering concerns
        5. Play “What-About”
        6. Don’t celebrate yet
      4. 4. Minimize and Plan
        1. There’s always too much
        2. The secret to prioritization
    3. Discovery Activities, Discussions, and Artifacts
    4. Discovery Is for Building Shared Understanding
  21. 15. Using Discovery for Validated Learning
    1. We’re Wrong Most of the Time
    2. The Bad Old Days
    3. Empathize, Focus, Ideate, Prototype, Test
    4. How to Mess Up a Good Thing
    5. Short Validated Learning Loops
    6. How Lean Startup Thinking Changes Product Design
      1. Start by Guessing
      2. Name Your Risky Assumptions
      3. Design and Build a Small Test
      4. Measure by Running Your Test with Customers and Users
      5. Rethink Your Solution and Your Assumptions
    7. Stories and Story Maps?
  22. 16. Refine, Define, and Build
    1. Cards, Conversation, More Cards, More Conversations…
    2. Cutting and Polishing
    3. Workshopping Stories
    4. Sprint or Iteration Planning?
    5. Crowds Don’t Collaborate
    6. Split and Thin
    7. Use Your Story Map During Delivery
    8. Use a Map to Visualize Progress
    9. Use Simple Maps During Story Workshops
  23. 17. Stories Are Actually Like Asteroids
    1. Reassembling Broken Rocks
    2. Don’t Overdo the Mapping
    3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
  24. 18. Learn from Everything You Build
    1. Review as a Team
    2. Review with Others in Your Organization
    3. Enough
    4. Learn from Users
    5. Learn from Release to Users
    6. Outcomes on a Schedule
    7. Use a Map to Evaluate Release Readiness
  25. The End, or Is It?
  26. Acknowledgments
  27. References
  28. Index
  29. Colophon
  30. Copyright

Product information

  • Title: User Story Mapping
  • Author(s):
  • Release date: September 2014
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781491904909