FeatureMap Example Templates

FeatureMap offers you the tool for User Story Mapping Methodology, but at the same time, a canvas of possibilities in how you approach your maps’ organisation.

Sometimes you just need to see a bit of inspiration or examples to understand the scope of the tool.

We have a set of examples of how to best build your map.

Application for Lending Electronics

This is Product Owners roadmap for a development team, it was specced out and covered a tool that was designed to share and lend electronics in the local community.

The team using FeatureMap came together from all departments and built the customer journey.

A Product Owner’s Roadmap

Audio Finder Project

This is a project manager’s backlog for work to be completed on the application to find and purchase audio files, and mp3s. This is a snapshot of the tool under development with it’s MVP defined and work midway through it’s first sprint.

The tool was picked up by the new team as it had stalled, the new team used FeatureMap to define the MVP and continue forward.

A project manager overview

Christmas Gift Organisation

This is a fun tool that one of our developers created to help them go shopping for Christmas. They literally created a list of people, ideal gifts and a process to keep on top of making their holidays stress-free.

It’s a fun map, and shows that you can bend FeatureMap to really cater to all sorts.

A self project management list

Goals Listing for App

This is a map designed to be the users UX flow through the first opening and learning of their application. It is designed as a goals orientated application, a to-do list app.

The solo dev, wanted to clearly see a path of what the persona of a user wanted to experience. They then were able to outline and define the steps and convert the journey into a sprint.

User journey flow for UX planning

Marketing and Email strategy Ideas Board

This is a map that a project manager and marketer created to help them identify a workflow and the requirements. Instead of a MVP and sprint, they operated with a very human “Must Have, Need and Nice to have” flow, allowing a bit of freedom while helping one another adhere to a set of rules.

It’s a step away from the usual design of what FeatureMap was made for, but as we said at the start. FeatureMap can be a canvas and only limited by your design.

A project manager implementing a system using a map.

MovieBuddy App Roadmap

Moviebuddy has been our go-to example for years. It’s from a product owner’s perspective, but also caters to the entire team.

MovieBuddy is an application to build a list of your movies for record keeping. The map expands, both through sprints horizontally, but also vertically it explores new features, sections and upgrades.

In the map you can see how it grows from being a simple record keeping piece of software, to a software for sharing, compiling automatically, finding new recommendations, complex listings and integrated wish lists.

Take a look and it may just inspire you.

Moviebuddy is our original example, it shows a fleshed out map of sprints and features.

So now its your turn…

You have some examples, some inspiration and hopefully some ideas.

If you’ve made a map, or a new design, reach out to us and share with us the map and template.

One beautiful benefit of FeatureMap is having maps shared with us and seeing the new and wonderful ways that imagination has been captured and put down into a map.

Happy Mapping all!

Plan out your Product Feature Map in 1 hour or less

Creating a product map can feel intimidating, but with the right tools, it can be completed in no time. A systematic planning process and the right tool can get your project plan mapped out and finished in less than an hour.

A product map answers three basic questions:

  • What activities do you need to do?
  • Who will do these activities?
  • How long will these activities take?

It’s super easy, and it’s even better when you bring a team along with you to get started.

So how to start?

Step 1: Define your product

A story user map can be used as a method for visually outlining your roadmap for your product.

You will need to think of your product in stages, from high level to detailed level. Break your product down to varied groupings, then into steps, and then into further detail. Turn these steps into cards.

Product owner, testers, technical lead, customer support, architect, developers, UX/UI designer, sales and marketing, etc. All have their own techniques and requirements which will help you create your map.

With the questions above, what, who, why.

Step 2: Build that Map out.

If you are brand new to user story mapping, we have a short and sweet exercise. Let’s take a simple real-life example of “getting ready for work”.

The Story Map of Alex’s Morning
  1. Start with the goal.
    What is the story map about?
    What are you trying to accomplish?
    The main overall purpose.
  2. Second, list your main stories, your main tasks or activities. From left to right, insert the main steps of the story map that need to happen.
  3. Move on and detail each main list – column by column, left to right.

In the case of product features, the layers can be then developed and then bingo bango. Done.

In a simple step you have your Product Map of high level tasks.

Product Map complete.

And it’s only step 2… granted the product map would have been done as soon as you applied your main stories and really its more like step 3 if we need drag out tasks, but really… User Story Mapping as a tool for Product Maps offers a value you can only understand once it is underway.

If you want a more in-depth guide, broken down into detailed 7 steps, check out our guide here.

Step 3: Now you have your Product Map – Let it breath!

Story User Maps are ideal for allowing a team to design out a product feature and reduce the need to go back halfway through development because XYZ requirement. Let the project develop, evolve and change into larger, bigger projects or features.

You can develop and maintain any feature creep by creating new cards and assigning them into new sections.

You can add new requirements and manage the product map by assigning times, values, budgets and aggregating those values to the higher level cards.

The product map can become the defacto aid and tool in all your roles as Producer or CTO!

When building your story map approach it from all roles, if alone think about each responsibility in an order and feel free to create duplicates to then merge later. It’s about going with the flow and giving creative freedom to fleshing out a detailed product map. You can always edit, merge, delete in a later step. Due to their different foundations and interests, all roles have valuable points of view. As well as when working collaboratively with a team, everybody has an unmistakable and common comprehension of what they are about to build together.

As an aside, for further reading, we covered a series intro to story mapping with a basic run down and a simple exercise taking you through the morning tasks and making a map that may help, also don’t forget to check out some good practises in going from Idea to MVP.

Examples

We have a two examples below.

One is the Audio Finder Project, a board finished, with MVP defined, sprints defined and using some aggregation on the cards. A good example to see a finished map.

Audio Finder, a product map example with a finished MVP and aggregation.

One is the App for Lending Electronics, a board and map which is in the stage of “undergoing fine-tuning” and shows an example of half the map with tags and status applied, while the other half is still in flux. A good example to see a map undergoing evolution.

Lending Electronics, a product map example in progress.

If you want to give making your product map a go, quickly, check out FeatureMap and start for free.

High-Level Understanding – Utilising Aggregation in FeatureMap

User Story Mapping and FeatureMap

User story mapping can allow your team to see and understand the product from a user-centric design. You can see the bigger picture of the product, help the team identify gaps and dependencies, and give the first framework of a shared understanding between your entire team.

A finished FeatureMap Board should have your entire product outlined. The team will have sections separated, and you’ll be scheduling and planning the outline of prioritized stories into sprints and releases. 

In this article, we will share how to gain a better shared understanding of a map by utilising the feature of aggregation.

In short, it is the option of aggregating values. On each card you can assign a status, estimation and a budget. When you assign the aggregation option to a header card, the card will gather the values of all sub cards and calculate, dynamically, the overall status or number.

e you can see the FeatureMap Board of the Audio Finder Product, fully incorporated with aggregation of both status and time.
Here you can see the FeatureMap Board of the Audio Finder Product, fully incorporated with aggregation of both status and time.

A beautiful map, full of information, which can be daunting, but with ease you can see if the product development has any issues just by looking at the aggregated dynamic values on each of the layer headers.

Let’s break it down.

Status Aggregation

With Status, you are able to assign to a card, displaying a coloured icon on the main map. Great for that easy acquisition when viewing the larger map.

The statuses you can apply are: Todo, Ongoing, Done, Cancelled, Blocked.

With FeatureMap you can set statues to all cards to help with task management.
The Card – Register Online: Applying a status for the state of its task.

With aggregation, you can apply the option “automatic (aggregated)” on your header cards, and the header card will a value by priority to display allowing the team to see each header, and associated higher task status.

A quick glance at a busy map can be even quicker with good application of status icons, and aggregation allowing you to identify issues and solve them quickly. This is one huge advantage for those busy product owners or leads 😇

The priority for aggregation display is by importance: Blocked -> Ongoing -> Done.

When a card is set to “To-Do” and “Ongoing” are is aggregated as “Ongoing”.

  • When a column or layer has a “Blocked” card, this takes priority and is aggregated as “Blocked” as to draw attention to issues.
  • When all cards within a column/layer are done, the aggregated value draws “Done”.
  • The status “Cancelled” is ignored.

You can see Sign Up has been set to Status - automatic (aggregated)
Automatic (aggregated) has been applied to this Sign Up Card (Header).

The header card (groups) Sign Up has been set to an automatic (aggregated) value.

The sub headers (lists), Sign Up and Registration are also set to automatic (aggregated).

The cards in those columns have all be seen set with “Done” status.

The value will dynamically be displayed based on the values of the cards within the sub-cards.

In this case, FeatureMap draws the values from Register Online and Email Confirmation.

Both are “Done”, so the value aggregated is “Done.”

Budget and Estimation Aggregation

The task status is not the only aggregation option. You can also track your assigned values of budget and estimation.

When you assign numbers to a card, and then aggregation to the header. It will draw vertically to each header group and list or, if applied to a layer header, it will draw horizontally to each layer. This allows you to see the overall bigger picture, but also a specific collection of times, costs or the main status of the project.

In this FeatureMap we are utilising Aggregation.

On the User Management Section, we are not aggregating status instead we are estimating the time it will take for our developers to code the described section.

You can see the Dashboard Options Card is estimated to take 15 hours, and the Dynamic Windows Card is estimated to take 20 hours.

The header above – Dashboard draws those numbers and calculates both, giving us 35 hours. At a quick glance, the team now know the Dashboard feature should be done after 35 hours.

This aggregates higher to the USER MANAGEMENT header as well, showing us the value of 76 as it draws all estimations in it’s sub lists of Dashboard, Interact with Review and Social Media Elementals.

Customising the Aggregation Options.

On both Estimation and Budget, you can rename the labels of these fields and assign units.

If you decide to do this after the fact, worry not, you can assign the field settings to a single card, or all cards on the map when editing the options.

The list of options available when customising your fields.

To edit, open up a card and click the grey cog wheel next to the Estimation or Budget field.

Here you can rename the fields, and assign units.

Units available are:

  • none (default)
  • points (pts)
  • EUR (€)
  • USD ($)
  • weeks (w)
  • days (d)
  • hours (h)
I settled on Estimation and used the units as “hours”.

Apply to all cards please, and let my map be beautifully informative.

Vertical or Horizontal

Aggregation can be applied horizontally or vertically.

When you apply it to the Group and List Headers (Vertically) the aggregation will be drawn from the entire column, spanning every sprint or value.

As such, it is much more common to see the aggregation applied horizontally to see the Sprint status.

Aggregate up or across. Dynamically see your sprints and tasks.

Aggregation Helps

A user story map need not be static. Teams can update it with findings from research spikes, revised estimations, and user feedback from sprints and releases. The story map can also be used as a visual roadmap to communicate both the planned work and the work that remains.

So if you find yourself as a product owner or project manager wondering the status of your developers, and you want to avoid it interrupting them distracting them or holding unnecessary meetings, the aggregation tool is invaluable for your management.

It allows your developers to keep you updated while allowing an optimal level of communication. Maybe they’ll get more done? 😀

Give aggregation a go, you’ll be surprised how much control it gives to your map. You can access aggregation options with a Premium Subscription, or with the free sign-up trial.

Happy Mapping!

FeatureMap 4.0 Update – New Version

Last week we released the new version of FeatureMap.

We’ve said our goodbyes to FeatureMap 3.4 – which had been valiantly running for over two years with just a few minor updates – and welcomed FeatureMap 4.0.

I’d like to give you some news about what our team has been working on over the past year and our plans for the future of FeatureMap. This update will probably sound unusually technical – I thought for once it would be nice to give you a deeper overview of what we have been doing behind the scenes.

While the changes might not be immediately apparent, as it is still the same FeatureMap you are familiar with, almost all parts of the application have been upgraded under the hood. Our goal with this release was to lay out the necessary foundation to support our plans for the next major features and design of FeatureMap.

One of the main benefits of this background work is that FeatureMap is now faster than ever: we’ve measured load times and request times reduced by over 40%. It is also a lot more stable and more resilient when something goes wrong in the network.

We’ve been constantly working away at improving FeatureMap and throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen the growth of working from home and a wider adoption of user story mapping as one of the best tools for collaborative product management. This has kept us motivated to bring the best out of FeatureMap and strengthened our resolve to make it better.

So, what has changed in FeatureMap 4.0?

Faster everything

FeatureMap boots faster, loads pages more quickly, and can save your changes instantly. Not only does it offer a more responsive user experience, it also improves the overall stability of the application. Plus, it means we can now deploy hotfixes whenever necessary without noticeable downtime.

New application domain name

We have decided to separate FeatureMap’s public website, which presents the application features, pricing and legal terms, from the application in which you can access your maps. Your maps now live under the domain name https://app.featuremap.co, which means the URLs of your maps and cards have changed.

But don’t worry: we’ve made sure all the old links keep working and simply redirect you to the new locations.

Calls to our API will still work with www.featuremap.co as the base domain name for several months. API users are encouraged to use the new app subdomain from now.

Usernames are gone + improved mentions in comments

Another decision we made was to remove all visible usernames from the application. We still use them internally, but we no longer want them to be the default way of referring to a FeatureMap user. Which means it won’t be possible to sign in to FeatureMap using a username anymore: we’ll ask for your email address instead.

This also means we had an opportunity to improve the way users could @mention people in card comments and make it a lot nicer and easier to use. Give it a try: just type @ in a comment, add a few letters to filter users by name or email, and choose the person you’d like to refer to.

Map Layers that are collapsed are remembered

Quality of life updates will be seen frequently as we receive feedback and suggestions.
Already we’ve released a mini addition (now officially on v4.0.1 at time of posting) that remembers the last active setting of your layers or groups.

Now when you collapse, and adjust the views, those layers/groups will remain collapsed when you return to the map or reload.

Layers: Testing and complete are collapsed and will be remembered upon reload. Group Version 0.2 Website is collapsed and will also be remembered.

Sign in with Microsoft or Google accounts

Passwords can be a pain. We get that. Why not just log in to FeatureMap using your existing Google or Microsoft account ?

Linux support

For those of you interested in using FeatureMap on-premises, you can now install and run the application on Linux servers and not just Windows.

Anything else? What’s next?

We made a lot more changes that are not directly visible right now. These will allow us to release some long-requested features in the near future. Here are some of the improvements we are already working on:

  • Custom tags for your cards
  • A more modern look for FeatureMap
  • Quicker actions on cards: copy-paste, move, or update several cards at once
  • Dedicated workspaces for teams
  • Organized dashboard

Please send feedback and get involved with our roadmap.

What features do you want to see?

Keep an eye out for our future announcements. And as always: Happy mapping!