Agile development—the leading approach for software development—strives to break the product down into small chunks, called user stories. These are short descriptions of a feature told from the user’s perspective. User stories typically have a common format:
As a <type of user>, I want <some goal> so that <some reason>
While utilizing user stories makes development more manageable, it can also cause teams to lose the big picture of what they are building. Focusing on individual features gives a team tunnel vision, losing the overall picture of what is being built.
A user story map illustrates how user stories relate to one another in an overarching model. This allows teams to grasp the entirety of the system. More importantly, they align planning and development with actual user experiences.
This template has a few parts, with some simple steps to completing it.
- Start with your users. Add personas at the top and discuss them as a group.
- Then, map out the user’s journey at the top. Indicate major steps and smaller tasks to breakdown the interaction.
- Add user stories from your backlog to the journey in the steps where they appear in the application.
Discuss the map as a group to prioritize and group stories, e.g., creating epics based on the steps in the journey.
User Storymapping TEMPLATE by Jim Kalbach
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