A prioritized Product Backlog consisting of user stories is sometimes a difficult tool for understanding what your whole system is intended to do for the user. Borrowed from Hollywood, (reference “storyboards“, from left->right in time, mapping what user does, and below that, what needs to be built to support what the user (“actor” in Hollywood) is doing.) What we are now finding is that a well constructed Story Map can help us holistically plan releases that deliver both value to the customer, while helping us understand the functionality of the system as a collaborative team. It is a fantastic planning method which is designed to bridge the gap between the telescopic view (which Product Owners serving the business tend to take), and the microscopic view (which developers tend to take.)
– Product discovery: understanding the users and usage of the system being built, initially discovery focusing on breadth of the system covered.
– Prioritize to determine what we wish to support in the system, drilling down to depth.
– Drilling down further, looking at the functionality in terms of usage, and lifecycle of usage
– Understand the Minimal Viable Product (reference the horizontal blue line in the Story Map indicating the release.)
– And finally derisking and polishing: looking at gaps risks, and enhanced architectural skeleton needs to support the Story Map.
If you would like to learn more about User Story Mapping Workshops please don’t hesitate to contact us.