User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product


User story mapping is a valuable tool for software development, once you understand why and how to use it. This insightful book examines how this often misunderstood technique can help your team stay focused on users and their needs without getting lost in the enthusiasm for individual product features.

Author Jeff Patton shows you how changeable story maps enable your team to hold better conversations about the project throughout the development process. Your team will learn to come away with a shared understanding of what you’re attempting to build and why.

  • Get a high-level view of story mapping, with an exercise to learn key concepts quickly
  • Understand how stories really work, and how they come to life in Agile and Lean projects
  • Dive into a story’s lifecycle, starting with opportunities and moving deeper into discovery
  • Prepare your stories, pay attention while they’re built, and learn from those you convert to working software

User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product| Jeff Patton (Author), Peter Economy (Editor)| O'Reilly Media

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Big Picture
The “A” Word, Telling Stories, Not Writing Stories, Telling the Whole Story, Gary and the Tragedy of the Flat Backlog, Talk and Doc, Frame Your Idea, Describe Your Customers and Users, Tell Your Users’ Stories, Explore Details and Options.

Chapter 2. Plan to Build Less
Mapping Helps Big Groups Build Shared Understanding, Mapping Helps You Spot Holes in Your Story, There’s Always Too Much, Slice Out a Minimum Viable Product Release, Slice Out a Release Roadmap, Don’t Prioritize Features—Prioritize Outcomes, This Is Magic—Really, It Is, Why We Argue So Much About MVP, The New MVP Isn’t a Product at All!

Chapter 3. Plan to Learn Faster
Start by Discussing Your Opportunity, Validate the Problem, Prototype to Learn, Watch Out for What People Say They Want, Build to Learn, Iterate Until Viable, How to Do It the Wrong Way, Validated Learning, Really Minimize Your Experiments, Let’s Recap.

Chapter 4. Plan to Finish on Time
Tell It to the Team, The Secret to Good Estimation, Plan to Build Piece by Piece, Don’t Release Each Slice, The Other Secret to Good Estimation, Manage Your Budget, “What Would da Vinci Do?”, Iterative AND Incremental, Opening-, Mid-, and Endgame Strategy, Slice Out Your Development Strategy in a Map, It’s All About Risk, “Now What?”.

Chapter 5. You Already Know How
1. Write Out Your Story a Step at a Time, Tasks Are What We Do, My Tasks Are Different Than Yours, I’m Just More Detail-Oriented. 2. Organize Your Story, Fill in Missing Details. 3. Explore Alternative Stories, Keep the Flow. 4. Distill Your Map to Make a Backbone. 5. Slice Out Tasks That Help You Reach a Specific Outcome, That’s It! You’ve Learned All the Important Concepts, Do Try This at Home, or at Work, It’s a Now Map, Not a Later Map, Try This for Real, With Software It’s Harder, The Map Is Just the Beginning.

Chapter 6. The Real Story About Stories
Kent’s Disruptively Simple Idea, Simple Isn’t Easy, Ron Jeffries and the 3 Cs, 1. Card, 2. Conversation, 3. Confirmation, Words and Pictures, That’s It.

Chapter 7. Telling Better Stories
Connextra’s Cool Template, Template Zombies and the Snowplow, A Checklist of What to Really Talk About, Create Vacation Photos, It’s a Lot to Worry About.

Chapter 8. It’s Not All on the Card
Different People, Different Conversations, We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Card, Radiators and Ice Boxes, That’s Not What That Tool Is For, Building Shared Understanding, Remembering, Tracking.

Chapter 9. The Card Is Just the Beginning
Construct with a Clear Picture in Your Head, Build an Oral Tradition of Storytelling, Inspect the Results of Your Work, It’s Not for You, Build to Learn, It’s Not Always Software, Plan to Learn, and Learn to Plan.

Chapter 10. Bake Stories Like Cake
Create a Recipe, Breaking Down a Big Cake.

Chapter 11. Rock Breaking
Size Always Matters, Stories Are Like Rocks, Epics Are Big Rocks Sometimes Used to Hit People, Themes Organize Groups of Stories, Forget Those Terms and Focus on Storytelling, Start with Opportunities, Discover a Minimum Viable Solution, Dive into the Details of Each Story During Delivery, Keep Talking as You Build, Evaluate Each Piece, Evaluate with Users and Customers, Evaluate with Business Stakeholders, Release and Keep Evaluating.

Chapter 12. Rock Breakers
Valuable-Usable-Feasible, A Discovery Team Needs Lots of Others to Succeed, The Three Amigos, Product Owner as Producer, This Is Complicated.

Chapter 13. Start with Opportunities
Have Conversations About Opportunities, Dig Deeper, Trash It, or Think About It, Opportunity Shouldn’t Be a Euphemism, Story Mapping and Opportunities, Be Picky.

Chapter 14. Using Discovery to Build Shared Understanding
Discovery Isn’t About Building Software, Four Essential Steps to Discovery, 1. Frame the Idea. 2. Understand Customers and Users, Sketch simple personas, Create organizational profiles or orgzonas, Map how users work today. 3. Envision Your Solution, Map your solution, Words and pictures, Validate completeness, Validate engineering concerns, Play “What-About”, Don’t celebrate yet. 4. Minimize and Plan, There’s always too much, The secret to prioritization, Discovery Activities, Discussions, and Artifacts, Discovery Is for Building Shared Understanding.

Chapter 15. Using Discovery for Validated Learning
We’re Wrong Most of the Time, The Bad Old Days, Empathize, Focus, Ideate, Prototype, Test, How to Mess Up a Good Thing, Short Validated Learning Loops, How Lean Startup Thinking Changes Product Design, Start by Guessing, Name Your Risky Assumptions, Design and Build a Small Test, Measure by Running Your Test with Customers and Users, Rethink Your Solution and Your Assumptions, “Stories and Story Maps?”.

Chapter 16. Refine, Define, and Build
Cards, Conversation, More Cards, More Conversations…, Cutting and Polishing, Workshopping Stories, “Sprint or Iteration Planning?”, Crowds Don’t Collaborate, Split and Thin, Use Your Story Map During Delivery, Use a Map to Visualize Progress, Use Simple Maps During Story Workshops.

Chapter 17. Stories Are Actually Like Asteroids
Reassembling Broken Rocks, Don’t Overdo the Mapping, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

Chapter 18. Learn from Everything You Build
Review as a Team, Review with Others in Your Organization, Enough, Learn from Users, Learn from Release to Users, Outcomes on a Schedule, Use a Map to Evaluate Release Readiness.

The End, or Is It?





Written by Bharath Ravi

Business Consultant whose qualification includes a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Mechanical specialized in Automobile & Manufacturing; Trained in Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) Certification, Hands on Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis, BCS (UK) and Certified Professional for Requirements Engineering (CPRE-FL).

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