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O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product / Edition 1

User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product / Edition 1

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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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781491904909
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/04/2014
Pages: 324
Sales rank: 160,977
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Over his past two decades of experience, Jeff Patton has learned there’s no “one right way” to design and build software, but there’s lots of wrong ways.

Jeff makes use of 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. Where many development processes focus on delivery speed and efficiency, Jeff balances those concerns with the need for building products that deliver exceptional value and marketplace success.

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. Current articles, essays, and presentations on variety of topics in Agile product development can be found at and in Alistair Cockburn’s Crystal Clear. Jeff is founder and list moderator of the agile-usability Yahoo discussion group, a columnist with and IEEE Software, a Certified Scrum Trainer, and winner of the Agile Alliance’s 2007 Gordon Pask Award for contributions to Agile Development.

Table of Contents

Foreword Martin Fowler xi

Foreword Alan Cooper xiii

Foreword Marty Cagan xvii

Preface xxi

Read This First xxix

1 The Big Picture 1

The "A" Word 1

Telling Stories, Not Writing Stories 3

Telling the Whole Story 3

Gary and the Tragedy of the Flat Backlog 5

Talk and Doc 6

Frame Your Idea 8

Describe Your Customers and Users 9

Tell Your Users' Stories 10

Explore Details and Options 14

2 Plan to Build Less 21

Mapping Helps Big Groups Build Shared Understanding 22

Mapping Helps You Spot Holes in Your Story 25

There's Always Too Much 26

Slice Out a Minimum Viable Product Release 27

Slice Out a Release Roadmap 28

Don't Prioritize Features-Prioritize Outcomes 29

This Is Magic-Really, It Is 30

Why We Argue So Much About MVP 32

The New MVP Isn't a Product at All! 34

3 Plan to team faster 37

Start by Discussing Your Opportunity 38

Validate the Problem 39

Prototype to Learn 40

Watch Out for What People Say They Want 41

Build to Learn 41

Iterate Until Viable 44

How to Do It the Wrong Way 44

Validated Learning 46

Really Minimize Your Experiments 48

Let's Recap 48

4 Plan to Finish on Time 51

Tell It to the Team 52

The Secret to Good Estimation 53

Plan to Build Piece by Piece 54

Don't Release Each Slice 56

The Other Secret to Good Estimation 56

Manage Your Budget 57

What Would da Vinci Do? 59

Iterative AND Incremental 62

Opening-, Mid-, and Endgame Strategy 63

Slice Out Your Development Strategy in a Map 64

It's All About Risk 64

Now What? 65

5 You Already Know How 67

1 Write Out Your Story a Step at a Time 67

Tasks Are What We Do 68

My Tasks Are Different Than Yours 69

I'm Just More Detail-Oriented 70

2 Organize Your Story 71

Fill in Missing Details 72

3 Explore Alternative Stories 72

Keep the Flow 74

4 Distill Your Map to Make a Backbone 75

5 Slice Out Tasks That Help You Reach a Specific Outcome 76

That's It! You've Learned All the Important Concepts 77

Do Try This at Home, or at Work 78

Its a Now Map, Not a Later Map 79

Try This for Real 81

With Software It's Harder 82

The Map Is Just the Beginning 84

6 The Real Story About Stones 89

Kent's Disruptively Simple Idea 89

Simple Isn't Easy 91

Ron Jeffries and the 3 Cs 92

1 Card 93

2 Conversation 93

3 Confirmation 94

Words and Pictures 95

That's It 96

7 Telling Better Stories 97

Connextras Cool Template 97

Template Zombies and the Snowplow 102

A Checklist of What to Really Talk About 104

Create Vacation Photos 107

It's a Lot to Worry About 108

8 It's Not All on the Card 109

Different People, Different Conversations 109

We're Gonna Need a Bigger Card 110

Radiators and Ice Boxes 113

That's Not What That Tool Is For 116

Building Shared Understanding 116

Remembering 118

Tracking 119

9 The Card Is Just the Beginning 121

Construct with a Clear Picture in Your Head 122

Build an Oral Tradition of Storytelling 123

Inspect the Results of Your Work 124

It's Not for You 126

Build to Learn 127

It's Not Always Software 128

Plan to Learn, and Learn to Plan 129

10 Bake Stories Like Cake 131

Create a Recipe 332

Breaking Down a Big Cake 133

11 Rock Breaking 137

Size Always Matters 137

Stories Are Like Rocks 139

Epics Are Big Rocks Sometimes Used to Hit People 140

Themes Organize Groups of Stories 142

Forget Those Terms and Focus on Storytelling 142

Start with Opportunities 143

Discover a Minimum Viable Solution 144

Dive into the Details of Each Story During Delivery 146

Keep Talking as You Build 148

Evaluate Each Piece 149

Evaluate with Users and Customers 150

Evaluate with Business Stakeholders 152

Release and Keep Evaluating 153

12 Rock Breakers 155

Valuable-Usable-Feasible 156

A Discovery Team Needs Lots of Others to Succeed 158

The Three Amigos 159

Product Owner as Producer 163

This Is Complicated 164

13 Start with Opportunities 167

Have Conversations About Opportunities 167

Dig Deeper, Trash It, or Think About It 168

Opportunity Shouldn't Be a Euphemism 173

Story Mapping and Opportunities 173

Be Picky 179

14 Using Discovery to Build Shared Understanding 181

Discovery Isn't About Building Software 181

Four Essential Steps to Discovery 182

1 Frame the Idea 183

2 Understand Customers and Users 183

3 Envision Your Solution 186

4 Minimize and Plan 196

Discovery Activities, Discussions, and Artifacts 199

Discovery Is for Building Shared Understanding 200

15 Using Discovery for Validated Learning 201

We're Wrong Most of the Time 201

The Bad Old Days 203

Empathize, Focus, Ideate, Prototype, Test 204

How to Mess Up a Good Thing 208

Short Validated Learning Loops 209

How Lean Startup Thinking Changes Product Design 210

Start by Guessing 211

Name Your Risky Assumptions 212

Design and Build a Small Test 212

Measure by Running Your Test with Customers and Users 214

Rethink Your Solution and Your Assumptions 215

Stories and Story Maps? 215

16 Refine, Define, and Build 217

Cards, Conversation, More Cards, More Conversations 217

Cutting and Polishing 218

Workshopping Stories 218

Sprint or Iteration Planning? 222

Crowds Don't Collaborate 225

Split and Thin 227

Use Your Story Map During Delivery 232

Use a Map to Visualize Progress 233

Use Simple Maps During Story Workshops 234

17 Stories Are Actually Like Asteroids 239

Reassembling Broken Rocks 241

Don't Overdo the Mapping 243

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 244

18 Learn from Everything You Build 247

Review as a Team 247

Review with Others in Your Organization 251

Enough 253

Learn from Lasers 254

Learn from Release to Users 255

Outcomes on a Schedule 255

Use a Map to Evaluate Release Readiness 256

The End, or Is It? 259

Acknowledgments 261

References 265

Index 267

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