A flat backlog presents problems understanding context of individual items. Determining the value of a user story in a vacuum is difficult, if not impossible. We need the big picture! Without understanding the big picture, how do we know if we have identified all the stories? How do we communicate the context of a user story in the big picture? How do we really know what is necessary for a minimum viable product?
User story mapping is a technique that can help us keep the big picture front and center. It was developed to build shared understanding and display the stories within the context of the user narrative. We will discuss the challenges with flat backlogs, how user story mapping can help with those, do an activity to build a story map and discuss how to integrate this technique into the work you’re already doing.