a user story map arranges user stories into a useful model to help understand the functionality of the system, identify holes and omissions in your backlog, and effectively plan holistic releases that deliver value to users and business with each release. [original article] the functionalities are prioritized from left (more important) to right (less important). personally, i don’t have any restriction to what i have in the grid, here we can find stories with or without estimation, simple ideas not even confirmed and including needed technical improvements. in my experience, i always try to have the next 3 sprints already prioritized (high level), but of course, they can change radically if the necessity arises.
as a team, we are able to show the work we have accomplished in each sprint and establish a priority for the following ones. in my experience so far, i believe this tool is reliable and i am sure it is going to be a valuable step for any of my future projects. clearly, the idea and the process is not new, i base my work on the concept of jeff patton explained in the article the new user story backlog is a map. : i originally wrote and published this article in 2013 for scrum alliance, but because it was removed (do not know why yet) i decided to re-publish it here as it was originally written.
user story mapping is a visual exercise that helps product managers and their development teams define the work that will create the most delightful user experience. prioritizes the right workbuilding a holistic visualization of all the work necessary to deliver a complete product experience can help teams decide what is most important, organize work into releases (the delivery of a new customer experience), and de-prioritize work that has less user value. builds team consensusthe process of conceiving and building a user story map gives teams a shared view of the customer experience and the work that is required to improve it. taking a goal-first approach is critical in mapping the work that follows, and teams need to ensure they are mapping the customer’s goal.
these actions help teams decide which stories are vital and which ones are less important to delivering a delightful product experience to the target audience(s). with stories prioritized from the top down, teams can see the work that will deliver the most value in the shortest time and group these stories into development sprints and product releases. at the end of a user story mapping exercise, if teams have not done so already, they will need to schedule their outline of prioritized stories into sprints and releases. the story map can also be used as a visual roadmap to communicate both the planned work and the work that remains.
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