The Definitive Guide to Building and Using Story Maps
By Jimmy C
"Story mapping keeps us focused on users and their experience, and the result is a better conversation, and ultimately a better product.” - Jeff Patton
While user stories are a great tool for talking about user needs, by themselves they aren’t very good at helping the team understand the big picture. If you've ever had that feeling that you're missing the forest for the trees, user story mapping can mean the difference between building the right thing, or building the wrong thing.
Although he didn't invent user story mapping, Jeff has clearly mastered it and his years of experience are finally available in this book for all to benefit from.
Using many actual examples, anecdotes, metaphors, and humor, Jeff spends the first four chapters explaining what user story maps are, what they’re not, and how to apply the knowledge you gain by using them effectively. You’ll also learn secrets to estimating (which shouldn’t be secrets to anyone), development and delivery strategies that help you reduce risk, and how to know if you’re focusing on the right outcomes and building the right thing.
This is the chapter in which Jeff explains how to build a map. And the good news is (spoiler alert), building a story map isn’t hard. Using a simple example of a day in your own life, he walks you through each step and drives home each key concept.
Now that you’ve got a story map, the next six full chapters are devoted to understanding how user stories really work and how to get the most out of them. No matter how much you think you know about stories, you’re going to learn some things you didn’t know.
If the book ended at this point, I think you'd feel very satisfied that you learned more about stories and story mapping than you thought possible. But there’s more.
Jeff then shares more stories and advice about the user story life cycle, managing your backlog, and lots of things you can do to discover what your product should be.
For the finale, you get three chapters devoted to ‘Better Building’. You’ll learn how to conduct user story workshops, how to plan sprints and releases, how to collaborate (and how to not collaborate), and how to get the most from your story maps during the entire delivery process.
User story mapping is an essential tool for the tool box of anybody involved in shaping or building a product and this is the definitive book on how to it will. The skills you’ll learn will have a profound impact on your ability to learn, understand, and build great products.