User Story Mapping. For someone who is not familiar with agile software development, one might wonder what story book this is.
In software development and product management, a user story is one or more sentences in the everyday or business language of the end user or user of a system that captures what a user does or needs to do as part of his or her job function.
User Story can be loosely called User Requirement in the traditional way of software development.
“User Story Mapping” is thus “User Requirement Gathering” that everyone in software development will understand.
Agile software development is the newer method in software development. Introduced over a decade ago, it has now gained much popularity and most if not all software companies that build software uses this method to build products. Agile methodology enable products to be delivered in a rapid and iterative manner and matches what the user would need and be able to use in a gradually improved pace.
The author, Jeff Patton has over 15 years experience with a wide variety of products from on-line aircraft parts ordering to electronic medical records to help organizations improve the way they work. Jeff has focused on Agile approaches since working on an early Extreme Programming team in 2000. In particular he specializes in integrating effective user experience design and product management practice with strong engineering practice.Jeff currently works as an independent consultant, agile process coach, product design process coach, and instructor.
In User Story Mapping, Jeff has forewords by Martin Fowler, Alan Cooper, Marty Cagan – all three who are reputable persons in the software world. In the many chapters of this book, Jeff also gets into successful software companies such as ThoughtWorks and Atlassian to demonstrate how User Story Mapping is done.
This book is for Product Owners, Product Managers, Project Managers, and Agile or Lean methods practitioners.
- 1 The Big Picture
- 2 Plan to Build Less
- 3 Plan to Learn Faster
- 4 Plan to Finish on Time
- 5 You Already Know How
- 6 The Real Story About Stories
- 7 Telling Better Stories
- 8 It’s Not All on the Card
- 9 The Card Is Just the Beginning
- 10 Bake Stories Like Cake
- 11 Rock Breaking
- 12 Rock Breakers
- 13 Start with Opportunities
- 14 Using Discovery to Build Shared Understanding
- 15 Using Discovery for Validated Learning
- 16 Refine, Define, and Build
- 17 Stories Are Actually Like Asteroids
- 18 Learn from Everything You Build
From the beginning of the book, right until the last chapter, there is nothing else but User Story Mapping in a very frank, visual and easy to understand kind of story-telling.
User Story Mapping in summary is all about shared understanding of the requirement (or not) and about running agile development with many many Post-It notes. 🙂
Being agile, means it is important to start building a MVP – Minimum Viable Product because the goal is prioritizing outcomes and not features, a term popularized by Eric Ries with The Lean Startup.
All along the chapters there are many useful pictorials to portray the concepts being highlighted especially in explaining the problems and their solutions by mapping user stories.
My personal favorites are the chapters about how to write good stories and to plan to finish on time. A great example is building the websites or web app for Olympics and the Elections. There are no delays to the date and the plan need to be executed fast with the least to be built and absolutely on time.
I also liked the chapters where it guides the readers to breaking up Epics or large user stories to the right sizes for business teams, users, and development teams.
Definitely a recommended book for anyone who have interests in building quality software to solve real world problems, developers especially!