User Story Mapping in Practice

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Creating a backlog of user stories is pretty straight forward but it doesn't help you when it comes to decisions like what to build first, how to prioritize and groom the backlog, how to scope and plan the project, and how to visualize progress. The traditional backlog is simply too flat and often too long to help you see the bigger picture and make good decisions. User Story Mapping helps simplify all of these common project issues. By adding a third dimension to your backlog, your team will make better decisions about priorities, scope, and planning while improving your ability to visualize progress.

In this practical session I’ll cover the basics of user story mapping before walking you through case studies of how our teams are using this approach and the results we are achieving. I'll show you the before, during, and after pictures from several projects so that you can understand how our maps progress during the projects and how we use them to influence iterative development, promote good decision making, and visualize priorities, plans, scope and progress.

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  • Thank you Steve for sharing this deck. What I really like in it is the fact that it shares, with quite a lot of details. a real case. Kudos!
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  • Story mapping is a proven backlog management method. Digitization of story mapping is a powerful way to turn a story map into a project. With FeatureMap – www.featuremap.co – Product Owners have an augmented solution to define, manage, collaborate and communicate on their backlog. Adding a 2-ways real-time synchronization with JIRA bridges bridges Product Management and project management. The Product Owner controls and drives the project scope while project team reports directly on the visual backlog the project progress. It results in more visibility and communication and consequently better decisions and better products.
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  • I hear the phrase 'Functional Decomposition' used and abused around the industry and sometimes this approach turns into a technical decomp that is no longer understandable to the Product owner.

    In Jeff's Story Mapping book, due for release in September, he says 'decomposition is just a fancy word for smaller details that are part of a bigger thing.' The longer that those smaller things can speak to the user's primary workflow to solve their problem the better. As soon as you are only talking about Functions, the user gets lost in the details...while solving the User's problems should be the primary objective of any software product.

    Jeff's book can be pre-ordered here:
    Oreilly: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920033851.do
    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/User-Story-Mapping-Building-Products/dp/1491904909
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  • Hi Christopher. You are right that story maps also depict user interaction across time on the x-axis. Hopefully you can see that in the maps in the presentation. However, story maps also include functional decomposition in order to visualize and then implement MVPs.

    So, a story map depects both user interaction across time, as well as the decomposition. You can see the roots of some of those thoughts in Jeff Patton's writing here: http://www.agileproductdesign.com/blog/the_new_backlog.html and here: http://www.agileproductdesign.com/writing/how_you_slice_it.pdf
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  • this looks like feature mapping. story maps depict user interaction across time on the X-axis. feature maps provide the functional areas and decomposition as shown. check out hussman's video on story mapping at devjam.com.
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User Story Mapping in Practice

  1. 1. User Story Mapping in Practice #Agile2013 / #SDEC13
  2. 2. Steve Rogalsky @SRogalsky Blog.protegra.com Steve.Rogalsky@protegra.com
  3. 3. Story Time!
  4. 4. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search Item Maintenance Factor Maintance Costing Engine Pricing Engine Cost/Price Prototyper
  5. 5. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search A++ Item Maintenance Factor Maintance Costing Engine Pricing Engine Cost/Price Prototyper
  6. 6. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search A++ Item Maintenance B+ Factor Maintance Costing Engine Pricing Engine Cost/Price Prototyper
  7. 7. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search A++ Item Maintenance B Factor Maintance C Costing Engine Pricing Engine Cost/Price Prototyper
  8. 8. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search A++ Item Maintenance B Factor Maintance C Costing Engine F Pricing Engine Cost/Price Prototyper
  9. 9. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search A++ Item Maintenance B Factor Maintance C Costing Engine F Pricing Engine Cost/Price Prototyper
  10. 10. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search A++ Item Maintenance B Factor Maintance C Costing Engine F Pricing Engine F- Cost/Price Prototyper
  11. 11. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search A++ Item Maintenance B Factor Maintance C Costing Engine F Pricing Engine F- Cost/Price Prototyper #%&#@*&!
  12. 12. My First “Agile” Project Retail costing/pricing system Item Search Item What Maintenance Factor toMaintance build first Costing Engine Pricing Engine Cost/Price Prototyper Failed at iterative development Scoping the project Planning the project Prioritizing and grooming the backlog A++ B C F F- #%&#@*&!
  13. 13. The goal of this life isn't to be perfect but to be progressively less stupid - Marshall Rosenberg
  14. 14. Learning Outcomes How user story mapping can help you with: What to build first Encouraging iterative development Scoping the project Planning the project Prioritizing and grooming the backlog Visualizing Project Progress
  15. 15. Fast forward a little bit…
  16. 16. Another story, this time with a map
  17. 17. External Users will: • Select a Contract/Group • Enter Personal Info • Select Benefits • Enter Dependencies • View Summary • Submit an Enrollment Internal Users will: • Search Submitted Enrollments • View Submitted Enrollment • Process Enrollment Things Users Will Do
  18. 18. • Add Member Details • Select Dental coverage • Select Vision coverage • Display Member Detail Summary • Show Confirmation Page • … Identify User Stories
  19. 19. Move risky cards to the top Identify Priorities. Left to Right; Top Down
  20. 20. Release 1: Single, No kids, Dental Coverage Only, no Life & Disability Identify the Smallest Release Possible
  21. 21. Highlight Scope Changes
  22. 22. And now… Take a look at our Project Plan
  23. 23. Green = Done Blue = In Progress Visualizing our progress
  24. 24. The beginning
  25. 25. Early in the project
  26. 26. Almost Done
  27. 27. All green = Done!
  28. 28. To Summarize… User story mapping helped us with: What to build first Encouraging iterative development Scoping the project Planning the project Prioritizing and grooming the backlog Visualizing Project Progress
  29. 29. Your Turn
  30. 30. http://winnipegagilist.blogspot.ca/2012/ 03/how-to-create-user-story-map.html
  31. 31. *We’ll start with the 2nd row
  32. 32. 1. [silently] “Things People Do”
  33. 33. 2. Read & Remove duplicates Search Email Update Contact Create Appt Compose Email Delete Email View Calendar Read Email File Emails Delete Contact Update Appt View Appt Create Contact
  34. 34. 3. [silently] Group Search Email Update Contact Create Appt Compose Email Delete Email View Calendar Read Email File Emails Delete Contact Update Appt View Appt Create Contact
  35. 35. 4. Name your groups Manage Email Organize Email Manage Calendar Manage Contacts
  36. 36. 5. Arrange left to right Organize Email Search Email Manage Calendar Manage Email File Emails Compose Email Read Email Delete Email View Calendar Manage Contacts Create Appt Update Appt View Appt Create Contact Update Contact Delete Contact
  37. 37. Your map may look similar to…
  38. 38. The Stories that maps tell…
  39. 39. #Planning #Scoping #Prioritizing #Grooming #1 Visualization is awesome
  40. 40. #VisualizeProgress Example: Nice clean board to start. #1 Visualization is awesome
  41. 41. #VisualizeProgress After 2 weeks of vacations… Progress #1 Visualization is awesome
  42. 42. #VisualizeProgress But also, a lot of Blockers & Issues! #1 Visualization is awesome
  43. 43. #Scoping
  44. 44. #VisualizeProgress “This visualization stuff, it’s going to be good.” - CEO/Owner
  45. 45. #2 Silent Brainstorming FTW
  46. 46. Nope. Why? Cognitive Ease #3 USM (Backlog) as waste?
  47. 47. #VisualizeProgress #4 Duplicate cards on your iteration/kanban board instead of leaving a hole in your map Duplicated card User Story Map Kanban board
  48. 48. #Planning #WhatToBuildFirst #5 USM as MVP?
  49. 49. #Planning #WhatToBuildFirst #5 USM as MVP!
  50. 50. #Scoping At the beginning #6 Good for an project. (Even the easy ones)
  51. 51. #Scoping Half way done. One new card
  52. 52. #Scoping Almost done. Still only one new card.
  53. 53. #Scoping Done. Only one new card.
  54. 54. #Scoping At the beginning #6 Good for any project. (Even the hard ones)
  55. 55. #Scoping After completing the first few stories, we realized this project was *way* bigger than we knew.
  56. 56. #Scoping We quickly scaled it down to a version that still (barely) met the minimum project goals
  57. 57. #Scoping Done!
  58. 58. #WhatToBuildFirst #Iterative #7 What to build first is key… “Most of the time, we can create a horizontal slice of the whole application in one or two iterations” – Jeff Patton
  59. 59. #WhatToBuildFirst #Iterative Objective vs. Subjective Quality Patterns we’ve used
  60. 60. #WhatToBuildFirst #Iterative Single with only Dental Pick a subset of users for the first release. Patterns we’ve used
  61. 61. #WhatToBuildFirst #Iterative Ask: “If we went live early, what could we do without in the first release?” Patterns we’ve used
  62. 62. #WhatToBuildFirst #Iterative Not every task needs to be included in the first relase Patterns we’ve used
  63. 63. #WhatToBuildFirst #Iterative Search? Only by ID. All others later Patterns we’ve used
  64. 64. #WhatToBuildFirst #Iterative ** Treat the project like a startup ** Look for assumptions & risks Patterns we’ve used
  65. 65. Back to your app. Let’s practice that first slice.
  66. 66. What to build first? • What are the risks/assumptions for this project? • What are things we can do without? • What subset of users might we focus on? • Etc… What small stories would you need to build a horizontal slice of the whole app in 1-2 iterations? ** Write your top 4 **
  67. 67. http://www.slideshare.net/SteveRogalsky/user-story-mapping-in-practice In Closing User Story Maps can help you: - Make better decisions - Visualize progress - Influence iterative development - … Increase your ability to deliver Steve Rogalsky Thanks! Questions @SRogalsky WinnipegAgilist@blogspot.com Steve.Rogalsky@protegra.com
  68. 68. Links My blog: User Story Map series: How to create: http://winnipegagilist.blogspot.ca/2012/03/how-to-create-userstory-map.html How to prioritize: http://winnipegagilist.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-to-prioritizeuser-story-map.html Tips for facilitation: http://winnipegagilist.blogspot.com/2012/12/tips-forfacilitating-user-story.html Jeff Patton articles: - http://www.agileproductdesign.com/blog/the_new_backlog.html - http://www.agileproductdesign.com/writing/how_you_slice_it.pdf DotNetRocks podcast: - Show #750: http://www.dotnetrocks.com/default.aspx?showNum=750 This presentation: - http://www.slideshare.net/SteveRogalsky/user-story-mapping-in-practice

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