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Oikosofy - The User Story mapping workshop - facilitator's guide

This is a document that defines a series of steps that can be used to help teams/groups story map their products and plan their releases

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Story Mapping Workshop
Facilitator’s guide version 1.1
Vasco Duarte,
Based on:
https://www.thoughtworks.com/insights/blog/story-mapping-visual-way-building-product-backlog
Prerequisites: preparing the workshop
• Stakeholders
• Gaining buy-in
• Who to involve?
• What needs to be ready as input before the
workshop starts
• Material for the workshop
Prerequisites: Stakeholders 2/2
• The critical task for the facilitator is to help the participants in
the workshop define the list of stakeholders that need to be
involved.
• With the “owners” of the workshop (typically the Product
Owner team) brainstorm the possible stakeholders and classify
them in the following categories
– Needs to buy-in to the outcome of the workshop
– Needs to approve the outcome of the workshop but gets advice from
other stakeholders
– Needs to know of the outcome of the workshop but not involved
– Needs to be involved but does not approve the outcome
Prerequisites: Stakeholders 2/2
• Once the stakeholders are identified, agree with the
workshop “owner” who will contact the stakeholder to
gain the level of support necessary
Prerequisites: Gaining buy-in
• Together with the workshop “owner” define your approach to
gain buy-in to the participation in the workshop. Consider the
following interest groups when defining who needs to buy-in
and participate:
– Stakeholders (see previous slides)
– Development teams
– Surrounding teams (either providers or customers to our work)
– Product Owners and Product Management
– Management (e.g. line management)
– Users (if you have direct access to potential or existing users)
Prerequisites: Who to involve
• From the list of Stakeholders and people that you need to get Buy-in from
agree on what is the list of people to participate in the workshop
• Note that for an effective workshop you should have people who
understand the user/problem and decision makers, however having too
many people will make the workshop very hard to facilitate
• Rule of thumb: 1 facilitator for every 10 participants
• Rule of thumb: to complete the workshop in 1-day (about 6 hours) do not
involve more than 15 people. If you have more time (2-day workshop is
possible) then feel free to increase the participant list. However, have
enough facilitators to be able to help the participants as they need support.
Ad

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Oikosofy - The User Story mapping workshop - facilitator's guide

  • 1. Story Mapping Workshop Facilitator’s guide version 1.1 Vasco Duarte, Based on: https://www.thoughtworks.com/insights/blog/story-mapping-visual-way-building-product-backlog
  • 2. Prerequisites: preparing the workshop • Stakeholders • Gaining buy-in • Who to involve? • What needs to be ready as input before the workshop starts • Material for the workshop
  • 3. Prerequisites: Stakeholders 2/2 • The critical task for the facilitator is to help the participants in the workshop define the list of stakeholders that need to be involved. • With the “owners” of the workshop (typically the Product Owner team) brainstorm the possible stakeholders and classify them in the following categories – Needs to buy-in to the outcome of the workshop – Needs to approve the outcome of the workshop but gets advice from other stakeholders – Needs to know of the outcome of the workshop but not involved – Needs to be involved but does not approve the outcome
  • 4. Prerequisites: Stakeholders 2/2 • Once the stakeholders are identified, agree with the workshop “owner” who will contact the stakeholder to gain the level of support necessary
  • 5. Prerequisites: Gaining buy-in • Together with the workshop “owner” define your approach to gain buy-in to the participation in the workshop. Consider the following interest groups when defining who needs to buy-in and participate: – Stakeholders (see previous slides) – Development teams – Surrounding teams (either providers or customers to our work) – Product Owners and Product Management – Management (e.g. line management) – Users (if you have direct access to potential or existing users)
  • 6. Prerequisites: Who to involve • From the list of Stakeholders and people that you need to get Buy-in from agree on what is the list of people to participate in the workshop • Note that for an effective workshop you should have people who understand the user/problem and decision makers, however having too many people will make the workshop very hard to facilitate • Rule of thumb: 1 facilitator for every 10 participants • Rule of thumb: to complete the workshop in 1-day (about 6 hours) do not involve more than 15 people. If you have more time (2-day workshop is possible) then feel free to increase the participant list. However, have enough facilitators to be able to help the participants as they need support.
  • 7. Prerequisites: What needs to be ready as input to the workshop? • Vision: before you start the workshop, you should have a clear definition of the Vision for your product or business or both. • Lack of a Vision will make the workshop diverge from story mapping to Vision discussions which may be necessary, but are not part of this workshop. • For guidance on how to get to a Vision, please see the Vision workshop facilitator’s guide (available on request) • Empathy map for the highest priority users: in a separate session list, and prioritize the possible users for the system. In the first User Story Mapping workshop select only one user. Create the empathy map for that user and bring it into the workshop as input for the discussions.
  • 8. Prerequisites: Material for the workshop 1/2 • The following material is considered a minimum for the workshop. Feel free to add/change the list to fit your needs. • Post-its – Large post-its in 3 or more colors – Regular rectangular post-its in all available colors (at least 5 different colors • Markers – Sharpies for writing on smaller Post-its – Permanent markers to write on larger Post-its – Whiteboard markers to write on the white board as you explain the ideas of the workshop and to allow for brainstorming on whiteboards • Food – The workshop can get pretty intense and you may not want to break the flow of the participants. In this case it is imperative to have some food available so that people can keep their energy level and avoid irritated conversations
  • 9. Prerequisites: Material for the workshop 2/2 • Laptop, etc. – In order to share information (slides) as well as to allow just-in-time research, have a laptop with internet connection and projector available at all times. – Have a list of stakeholders with their phone numbers just in case we need to ask critical questions from them during the workshop – Flipcharts, see below for tips on how to use Flipcharts – Have a kitchen timer with you so that you can timebox the multiple sessions during the workshop
  • 10. Overview of the Agenda This is a proposed agenda for the workshop. Feel free to modify based on your time availability. The agenda below is the recommended 1-day workshop agenda. • Introduction • Story Mapping explained: why and what it is • Goals: what are the users’ goals? • Activities: what do users already do to achieve their goals • Tasks: what will the users do with our system to complete their activities? • User Stories: Writing down vertical, value centric user stories based on the tasks the users need to complete • Release Plan: The last exercise of the workshop is to define the next 2-3 releases. Goals for the releases will align the functionality to be taken into that release
  • 11. Workshop Agenda Outline • Introduction • Why Story Mapping • Users (prioritizing users) • Goals (for users) • Activities (to achieve Goals) • Tasks (to complete activities) • User Stories (to enable Tasks) • Release Plan (goals and timeline for releases)
  • 12. Visualising the whole product • User Story mapping builds holistic view of the product • Creates alignment in the team • Uncovers product features • Details product functionality • Allows for release-by-release prioritization User Story Mapping is a Strategy-to-execution transition activity
  • 13. Brainstorming guidance – this guidance is useful for all the activities in the workshop Every activity in the workshop will have a Brainstorming and a Crystalizing step. This follows the basic idea of 1. Explore the problem/area 2. Agree on what is the problem or area you need to tackle The goal with this 2-step approach to creating the content in the workshop is designed to first help people collaborate on generating multiple ideas thereby creating diversity. Then, to get to an agreement (definition or decision) that will help the team work together effectively after the workshop as they will always be able to refer to the agreements made in the workshop.
  • 14. Step 1 – Users • Who are our most important users? – Brainstorm – Explain – Prioritize Example to define a user: User Persona
  • 15. Step 2 - Goals • What are the most important goals for each user – What do they want to achieve? – Goals exist even if the system does not – Goals are typically related to business
  • 16. Step 3 - Activities • Activities are high level actions that users take to achieve their goals • Activities are things the users do even if our system would not exist (e.g. using another, similar system)
  • 17. Step 4 - Tasks • Tasks are the detailed actions that take the users, step-by- step towards the completion of an activity • Tasks are detailed actions the user needs to do to achieve an activity by using an actual system (e.g. our future system or another existing system)
  • 18. Guidance on creating user stories The User Story step in the workshop is not a “mandatory” step. This can be done at a later stage by the Product Owner team and review that with developers. Another alternative approach is to have only Activities and Tasks in the Product Backlog and let the teams (with their Product Owner) write the User Stories “just-in-time”. As the Activities and Tasks represent the User view of the goals and the system, the User Stories are not needed before implementation needs that level of detail. The User Story map until the Task level is sufficient to drive an overall system Backlog.
  • 19. Step 5 – Generating User Stories • User stories are how we decompose the Tasks into deliverables from the software point of view. • We generate User Stories based on the Tasks we uncovered. • Each User Story is an option, not a step in an immutable sequence
  • 20. Guidance on explaining User Story Maps The slides below provide a visual explanation of what User Story maps could look like. However it is important to take a first cut at the map without trying to follow all the visualization ideas presented here. The conversation during the workshop is much more important than the actual details of how to visualize the content. The team will typically reach an agreement of how to visualize the content created in the workshop.
  • 21. Putting it all together
  • 22. Putting it all together (the BIG picture)
  • 23. Big picture explained • Columns: Goals • Rows: – Activities (first row) – Tasks and User Stories • Row groups / layers: – Releases (where lower means later, higher means earlier) – Priorities (where lower means lower priority)
  • 24. Define the Release Plan • The Story Map is the overall deliverable we must complete. However we must show progress to our stakeholders in a consistent basis. • Define 2 to 3 releases in 1 to 3 month increments. • The goals for these releases should reflect: – Priorities for market tests and technology risks – Priorities for goals should reflect the overall stakeholder expectation for the product/system under development • Once the timeline and release goals are defined – Move into each release “swim lane” the tasks that need to be possible with each release. Do the same for the associated User Stories where appropriate
  • 25. Tips on running the workshop • Timebox every exercise • Use flipcharts to make the story map “modular” and expandable
  • 26. Tips on running the workshop • Timebox every exercise • Use flipcharts to make the story map “modular” and expandable
  • 27. Tips on running the workshop: Use flipcharts to create modular story map • As we create and iterate the story map we will come back to previous Activities and detail them further, or we will come up with Activities that change the story map. In order to avoid having to move large amounts of post-its we can use flipcharts to be “sections” of the map. • These flipcharts can then be easily moved or more added at the right spot in the map. • Later the flipcharts will also help us move the map around. This way we can create the map in a large meeting room and later move it to the team space
  • 28. Example pictures from model workshop: discussion around the story map created during the user story mapping session
  • 29. Example pictures from model workshop: Empathy map created for the selected high-priority user of the system
  • 30. Example : story map with the “blue release line” as the cut line for Release 1 and Release 2
  • 31. Example : The goals list is pre-pended to the user story map to clarify what the release lines are about Release 1 Dec ‘16 Integrate with Stripe Release 2 Feb ‘16 Integrate Shopping cart Release 3 Mar ‘16 Add support for German