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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 ?
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
Please send feedback and get involved with our roadmap.
User story mapping is an agile methodology with a focus on product design/development. It doesn’t stop there, but in this article we’ll focus on product design. Designing with user story mapping is one of the secret weapons to create a user-centered product. The product design process always begins with first understanding the problem and the user’s goals. The power of this, is the ability to spec out multiple users, mulitple goals and clearly display our entire process whilst following a natural, narrative flow of the users journey.
User Story Mapping can be narrowed down to organising user goals, activities, and user stories. This can help your product flow or backlog and create an visual backlog, that everyone understands.
Why is it important to create a User Story Map for your project?
Your customers need a simple way to confirm product goals.
Your teammates benefit from such a straightforward platform.
Teammates can get access to the entire scope and see and add valuable ideas.
Developers can see the entire specification for the product.
To sum up, user story maps are the visual aid to building shared understanding between project members.
Creating a user story map can take time, but you can follow a pretty clear and logical process, with a good efficient start you’ll be ahead in no-time. This could be a solo task, but to the absolute advantage of a user story map is to use it as a tool to have discussions with your wider team team.
What you’ll need: Grab your team, your VOIP of choice, boot up a brand new Map (Create from scratch) and sit back with a meeting blocked out for the team.
Do note, this is not a presentation but an involved group activity, so be mindful of voip etiquette.
Step 1: Frame the journey
Before you start mapping, you want to frame the exercise around a common goal. This could be your product vision or the goal of a specific feature you’re mapping out.
One of the simplest ways to do this is just to ask: What does our product do?
If this feels too big or gets too unwieldy, think about some constraints you can add to your user story mapping session:
What? – What problem are you trying to solve? What product do you want to build or what feature do you want to add?
Who? – Is there a specific user or user group you’re building for? Who are your potential customers?
Why? – Why build this for the user? What is the benefit to your team and company for building this feature or product? How will giving users this add value to the bottom line?
Talk it through and make sure everyone understands the vision and overarching goal of the user story mapping session.
Be aware, you may find such varied views from each other this may outline some sticking points from the get go!
Step 2: Build your story backbone
The backone of your map covers the entire journey described in high-level tasks or steps from start to finish. Don’t get too detailed, that comes at a later task. Go wide, not tall. Discover your goals and map your journey.
As an example, let’s say we’re building a product that helps someone buy a record track. At the highest level, the steps they take are:
Sign up for an account
Search for the track by genre/year/artists/album
View/listen to the song track
Enter payment information
Interact with social/stars/review of track.
Each feature or step can get more indepth later and expand out with sub headings, cards and individual descriptions.
Your product is probably a lot more complex. Here are few ways to help identify your backbone:
The expert details the journey: Ask one of the subject matter experts to walk through the problem step-by-step. How do they tackle this? What steps do they take and what tasks do they perform?
Everyone creates cards and inputs on the map: As you create cards on FeatureMap, get each familiar team member writing their own cards and detailing their journeys. Everyone can input the steps that need to be taken and add them to the map. Don’t worry about duplicates now, as this may highlight misunderstandings or merge tasks to a better project flow.
Brainstorm with your team to collect the most possible solutions and put all user stories under the related steps.
Once complete, think about the ideal user flow. The use case. Does the map fit and cover all steps for the journey?
What if you’re working with an existing backlog? If you have a backlog full of well-written user stories you can simply add them into your map. In some cases, this might even be the majority of your steps and you could utilise an API, or import features from JIRA or Trello.
Step 3: Identify and group your cards
As you look through the steps your user takes, you’ll start to notice some common groups, or activities that could be placed within groupings. In user story mapping, we call these activities.
Your activities (also known as user stories at this stage) are listed above the user steps (or epics) to make up your backbone.
As an example, lets return to our previous product of buying a record track. Here we can build out a step:
Search for a track by genre/year/artists/album
We can break this into individual cards of:
Search for a track
Search for an artist
Search for an album
Search within a genre
Search for a genre
Search tracks within a year, or a specific year.
You can see how these could all be individual tasks with a group of “Search for a track”. Here we can, with relative ease, start to identify user steps, user stories that all correlate to a user goal.
User Goal/Activity – Find a Track. User Step/Epic – Search User Story/Card – Search for an artist, then search for a track.
Step 4: Break large tasks into subtasks
It’s time to go a step deeper. The cards in your backbone are most likely too big to be tackled in a realistic single sprint. This step covers breaking down those cards and activities into smaller groupings and user stories.
Step 4 involves your team editing cards, splitting them into two, rewriting and reorganising them. Cards here could be reorganised and moved around the map. Placing cards into activities/sections/groupings will making it clearer for all involved promoting that shared understanding.
One key point of advice – Do Not Get Bogged Down!
FeatureMaps and User Story Maps are living, breathing things, cards get developed, edited, added to and when first mapping out the entire user story aim to cover it all at a higher level scope first.
Step 5: Fill in missing tasks.
This step has you expanding, checking for missing task, filling in the blanks.
Ask your teams if they are covered and user story is represented no the map.
One simple and effective test is to have someone walk through the scenario from a different user perspective. This is what is called utilising Personas. Act out the steps as your user and allow the team to highlight when missing steps/cards/goals are not on the map and have them add them.
Each department will see this differently, for example the graphics and UX design team may differ on presentation while the coders are thinking about stacks and the sales team are thinking about pain points and upselling.
If a team member states “Ah ha, this is missing or may cause problems…” then this stage is doing well.
Step 6: Prioritise your activities and cards.
Your Map and backbone is how your users move through your product. Each section at this high level are equally important, building blocks to the entire product/project.
Here you can easily see the whole picture and work with your team to find the best minimal viable product. This stage is ideal to figure out what has the highest priority, while allowing other sections to be put aside.. for now.
Now that you have the user map prioritised vertically, you can create horizontal “layers” that represent your MVP to Full release.
A good practice is to ensure that each layer should be creating value across each user and activity.
Step 7: Maintain your Map.
The last step covers using your living, breathing, evolving map.
Checking up your progress, see quickly the wider picture of your team.
Ensuring cards and tasks stay on track, assign deadlines to individual tasks and adjust work flow carefully.
In FeatureMap you can assign dates to tasks, cards or groups to keep track of progress.
You can assign cards to individual team members, and add progress status to each card, such as “todo, progress, done, etc”
You can expand and add timings or costings, or other custom metrics and utilise the aggregation tool which allows you to see the combined time within each sprint, grouping, or the larger map.
Does your current application need its legacy code rewritten to benefit from security, new features, modern integrations and to get with the new working world of remote WFH lifestyle?
Stop putting it off.
We’ll go over how to tackle the mammoth task and break it down to an approcable and task worth completing.
People often mistake User Story Mapping as a tool to start projects, but it is entirely suitable for building up an old project or design or plugging into an active project to help redefine the backlog, MVP and process. Afterall.. you need to start with your MVP or risk feature creep and stagnation.
FeatureMap can be used to help you plan out a current project or in this case, current piece of software. First approach the product/project/app and hash out the main features of the finished and current code.
A few options may be available to you, depending on the code:
Are you able to update the tool in sections? Are you able to approach the update in sprints/versions? Do you need to rebuild the entire program from scratch?
Take a moment, start you map and make a column and throw in ideas, thoughts, approaches, decisions. This is more for reference that you can draw from as you plan out the current software.
You can utilise basic User Story Mapping and decide where to place these cards, with which layers, columns and sections on your map.
Below and in these examples, we will refer ot our “Moviebuddy” app, a fictional app to help sorts your DVD collection.
We then worked through identifying which sections were redundant and not required after the code update. We identified these and added them to a new column to the side. Essentially removing them from view. Some of these features were workarounds that the new framework would natively support so we can remove those, yet we still need to rewrite some of the related code. Be sure to add discriptions for your team to reference that may help them realise your decisions.
In this case, our team assembled and had an online meeting to identified which parts of the code would be updated and what we should be prioritised as a framework. We labelled this as version 1 and aimed to get the core functions updated. The MVP of re-writes.
We were able to identify one function which we were able to upgrade. We also added new cards which reminded us to update our code standards and highlighted them green to ensure they were completed.
We then moved along to the next version which allowed us to introduce our new payment gateway to the application. A function that had alluded us due to the old codebase.
This allowed us to deploy more frequently and provide value sooner as we updated sections of the site. We still had a lot of ‘old legacy code’ but as we added new features we moved the legacy code functions inline with our updates.
Re-writing your legacy code is so very typically neuenced and specific to your use case, but I hope with these examples above you can see how to:
Add your current app to a map.
Collaborate with your team to share the same understanding.
Highlight what is redudant.
Task and outline new expanded features.
Work through the MVP and assign with the team members.
Estimate time, costings and aggregate them for team leaders to quickly understand.
Rewrite your legacy code
Have a celebration
As you can see using User Story Mapping can be brand new projects, or old existing projects.
It’s 2021 already, stop putting that task off, realise how easy and approachable it is with a User Story Map. Break down the mountain to bite size tasks and update that out of date framework!
If you need direct advice, coaching, a guide or want to book some time to explore FeatureMap, do feel free to reach out to us, but first…
If you are new to User Story Mapping or have already done user story mapping, it is highly likely that you’ll be doing Remote User Story Mapping online in 2020.
Since the pandemic we have seen over 31% of the US Workforce migrate from offices in March 2020 to working from home in April 2020.
Already we see businesses changing the way they work, creating permanent changes to include remote working, hot desking, partial office attendance and in some cases, removal of the office entirely. It is clear that if we seek out a positive from all this, the education of a better work-life is certainly one.
It may take a few days, may take a week, or may take a quick catch up over the day. Whatever the use case of your group is, and the required time, be sure to keep in mind the differences between working in the office and working from home.
Figure out an agenda, plan the day over introductions, activities, presentations, and when to carefully place the breaks.
For some, working from home can be distracting, while for others it can provide a freedom and comfort to allow them to work efficiently. Cater to everyone.
Is everyone on the same timezone?
Will everyone be available for the full time?
Can you create a course?
Get your Tech in order.
If you’ve been in any meetings with people new to remote working it can derail the meeting to tech support and cause all sorts of issues.
Ensure everyone is ready with their hardware, software and prepared to participate and collaborate.
This will be basic things such as:
Your main communications, be it Teams, Zoom, Skype or Slack – ensure everyone is signed in, ready and working.
VOIP, Headphones, Microphones, audio tests – Ensure everyone is good ahead of time. There is nothing worse than having one person spend 45 minutes troubleshooting a microphone.
Webcams working – These are great to make the remote working feel like you are all in it together.
The PC and Internet! – Basic basic basic tests. Make sure it all works.
FeatureMap Accounts – signed up, invited an in the correct map ready (either in a trial if new, or setup with the group leader if business). We’ve made this bit easy ?
You can send this out pre-meeting and ensure everyone can do a mock load, test and make sure they are ready to go 9am the day of the course.
Set out clear rules
So this is more of a per group basis. I’ve sat in meetings where everyone is completely new to remote working, and I’ve sat in groups where it is a tried and tested done deal. The huge range of experiences were staggeringly immense – talking over one another, crunching of food, tech issues, volume, lag – oh my.
Set out some rules to ensure your remote user mapping session is productive:
One person talks at a time
Ensure everyone has had time to participate
Check chat frequently
Eat only in your break
Good audio and camera (put your webcam on!)
Mute your microphone between conversations and don’t hot mic!
In an ideal world, your remote colleague might be in a self contained home office, free from distractions and sound – but in a real world… sometimes the kids, dog, neighbours or even home office equipment may not behave. So give slack but also be aware of your team and work to these requirements.
Now we have our tech sorted, our plan, our rules and accounts. It is worth considering that working online for long periods of time can be extremely tiring and regular breaks are recommended.
One simple rule for remote working is that when scheduling meetings plan them to finish 5 minutes before the end of the hour, or before the half hour, to build in time for much needed breaks.
Here are some basic tips for running effective online sessions:
Manage Talking Time – Communicating online can take longer, typing, thought process (the removal of visual feedback) but also allow clearer and direct communication. However it can take time so try timeboxes. Use a timer, visible to all, to ensure conversations do not drift.
Visualise Information – Share sources of information when referring to it in the meeting, use your dedicated channel to get a clear visualisation. This is an important goal and why the User Story Map and its visual collaboration is important to be real time.
Avoid repetition – Maintain engagement, and keeping attention is important as so you do not need to repeat coverage. There are many tips to do this, but random selection or asking the last person who spoke to choose who speaks next is a good way to keep everyone alert and listening to the course.
Records and Notes – If the call needs to be recorded, or notes do so in an online document. Webcams at flipcharts, photos of whiteboards can deliver a very poor and low impact experience. While you’ll have the story board covered with FeatureMap, it is important to ensure accompanying tech to deliver a strong course.
One thing 2020 has shown us – Remote Working is here to stay, so get ahead of the curve and ensure your team is productive and effective.
FeatureMap can be used for free for an unlimited period of time, but if you want to use some advanced features such as Word/Excel exports or unlimited maps, you’ll have to subscribe to a Premium account.
Premium FeatureMap grants you you to export your map into various formats; documents, an image or even another application.
In this blog post we will take you through every step of the process.
We support export for file formats and platforms as below:
Microsoft Office Documents
I will be using the MovieBuddy Product Map as examples so you can follow along.
To get started with Export go to your map and click at the top right – “Export”
Here you will be given four different options:
As a new file or document…
Choosing to export as a new file or document will allow you to export your map as a CSV, XML, JSON, XLSX, and DOCX.
As well as support each file format, some of the file formats support different file layouts to give you full control of how your document is presented:
Simple list of cards
Groups at first level
Layers at first level
In addition we also have the option to add comments, attachments and checklists to your export. Some exports do not need to show all the details so these options can be disabled.
Export map as image
When exporting as an image we generate your image as a PNG format.
We realise that this can be used for printing large images for your work environment or simply having a copy for digital display and so we offer four different DPI versions. Please consult your printer for the ideal DPI, but we recommend 300 DPI for paper printing.
96 dpi (best for display on screen)
300 dpi (best for printing)
In addition we wanted to give you further control of your image so we offer different widths of the cards:
5cm (2 inches)
6.3cm (2.5 inches)
7.5cm (3 inches)
We advise selecting these options first with a low resolution image to find the best format and then opting for a higher DPI for when you are happy with the width.
We also offer printer friendly grey and white background options.
We also give full control over your columns and rows. If you wish a column (group) to be displayed in full, collapsed or hidden entirely.
When exporting to Trello you will first need to connect Trello and FeatureMap together by following the on screen prompts.
We will never take your information and use it for other than connecting FeatureMap and the desired service.
Once you have connected Trello and FeatureMap you can remove those permissions at any time from Trello.
Here you can choose how the export of your FeatureMap will be translated over to Trello.
Map to Board
Map to Kanban
Groups to Boards
Layers to Boards
Each setting can be repeated into new maps, the image above shows what turns into what.
Please note that creating the board may take some time as FeatureMa.
You can see an Example below:
This Demo Map is exported into the Trello Board Below.
Of course this can be exported in multiple formats.
Atlassian and REST API
For Atlassian and Trello navigate to Export and follow the on screen wizard to connect your account by allowing permissions.
A future Blog post will explore the optional JIRA Integration options.
Finally, we also have REST API where you can develop, edit and create your own export/import functions within your own REST framework.
User Story Mapping can seem daunting when you first pull up a full FeatureMap. If those on your team are not familiar with the technique it can really slow down your sessions. Yet the technique is innately simple and can be taught very quickly.
Here I outline some of the quick and easy 30 minute games that you can add to your teaching workshop, or that you can go over yourself to help share or gain a n understanding on how to approach user story mapping.
Get to Work!
One of the easiest and well known games is the “Get to work” or “Wake up in the morning” tasks.
You write out on your map what you do each morning. This can be broken down to the most mundane steps.
I once had a team member write out everything they did which included an impressive rising time of 4am and 3 hours of morning preperation. I have since added to the challenge that they only have 20 minutes to get up and to get out the door to get to work.
What you can do is expand the task to reduce the time available, and to extend the time available to experience with what they add and cut aka minimal viable product! 😉
Another exercise is to add a time limit, deadline and propose they prepare for a vaction.
Setting my team of 1 month to there vaction they had to go through steps of checking passport, renewing, booking flights, checking luggage, buying missing items, packing, items, etc.
After the team had planned what they needed to do, you can again add time restraints such only 1 week to plan, and even only 1 day.
Doing this can education again the MVP and how to adjust and move the map around to suggest the best plan.
Describe an existing product
A good exercise to describe a common well known product, or even if a competitors product. This exercise can be used to take the focus from games and activies to a more development and industry focused task and will later help with your projects.
The last time our team covered this we had just seen a recent update to Spotify so we outlined and described the product, desktop, browser and mobile.
We explored the application and spent some time designing the task out, splitting it into sections and then created the foundation or backbone of the application.
When you have created the backbone product you can then start adding extra features in sprints, or even removing tasks and features to create an application lite, in this case it was “Spotfiy lite” or a media player.
We ended up designing Winamp!
We then ended up designing a fictional application about movies called “Movie Buddy” which we now use as a demonstration FeatureMap still today.
User Story Mapping Exercises
Using games and exercises to teach any product or methodology will be met with variation. Be aware of your audience, what will work and tailor your tutorials to fit them.
Some important tips for running these games.
Keep the time taken per exercise to under 30 minutes
Split each task of a game into 5 minute periods.
User FeatureMap or good old fashioned sticky notes and markers.
Use walls, floors or tables.
You can always do a final lesson of converting sticky notes to digital
Discourage a “leader” who may make all choices, allow all particpants to take part.
Try to aim for 30 tasks.
If you are teaching, do the tasks beforehand so you are able to help with prior experience on the subject matter.
User Story Mapping is innately simple with a huge range of depth that can be demonstrated in deep and powerful maps. If you need more assistance or ideas, check out how to help your team understand.
We have an important update about JIRA Integration which will affect your workflow and connection.
You should take action now to re-enable your connection to JIRA.
Earlier in the year Atlassian announced an upcoming change in the way usernames work in JIRA and third party applications. Today 17/4/2019 the support for usernames was removed and now requires a API Token to connect to your FeatureMap.
From today FeatureMap will NOT connect to JIRA using the old username and password. This will disable automatic sync and a new Token will need to be generated to continue using JIRA integration.
The new API tokens offer more security and can be revoked at anytime. An active token is required for synchronization.
Generate your new API token:
To create an API token from your Atlassian account:
User Story Mapping is normally a technique for Product Development, but you need not limit yourself for just one task or function.
Here we explore outside the box and look at applying User Story Mapping to product lessons, customer feedback, marketing strategies and even Christmas lists.
User Story Mapping is most commonly used for software development. You are able to outline and see the bigger picture of your product. You can prioritise the user stories, identify the journey of your users and involve all team members to have a shared understanding.
It is not just a tool that you use to outline the project, it is a technique applied to every step of the way. You can change, adapt, reprioritise, add further tasks, scrap old tasks, and so on. While ideal to sit on a wall in the office with post-it notes one large company has a large 75″ display in the office with their FeatureMap on display for all offices and departments.
Moving to the digital has its benefits and allows all departments and those remote to the office to collaborate. In addition, you can allow your shareholders and in some cases, even your customers to get involved.
Occasionally after a campaign, season, or annual review you look back at your product and hold a session of “product lessons learnt”:
Promote the recurrence of desirable outcomes
Preclude the recurrence of undesirable outcomes
Using User Story Mapping here can help you outline the user journey. Define each step which worked, and highlight what should be removed or revised.
Using layers you are able to prioritise your learnings by the impact on the user using analytics data, internal comments and observations, incident reports, and any further data or knowledge that can build a picture about your product and its presence.
Your goal is not to create a product but to highlight the users experience to learn.
Developing your map can involve the customer, allowing a public-facing map and open process you can get feedback direct from the customer.
Taking suggestions, feedback and ideas from customers is the golden goose.
We’ve all had the occasional user when you open up your ticket support system or email and in the inbox sits 10 emails all from the same person hammering feedback after feedback. These users are my favourite, and while initially a shock to the system, they offer the best value.
Taking all feedback to build your User Story Map and highlight the pain points reported.
Set columns for feedback, suggestions, bug reports and crashes.
Again, do not set this as a product development map but a feedback map and this can help you prioritise your next steps for development and also feed directly into Product Lessons.
Marketing and email strategy
When defining the user flow from a cold lead to a warm lead, add in tracking, and stages you’ll soon hit a complicated process. User Story Mapping, the super-hero of project management is here again.
Setting our a User Flow from cold lead, to warm lead, to sign-up, to conversion can all be done with a FeatureMap.
While mailing systems, like mail-chimp, can work exceptionally defining a campaign, following a user along a sales process (especially when plugged into marketing) is broader than MailChimp.
Happy Holidays to you all, and time for a bit of fun, but an entirely function one.
This year I was planning out what to buy my friends, family and fellow office workers and wanted a way to track what I had purchased. In some cases, I have commissioned artwork and needed picture frames and had presents that became a multi-stage process. I turned to User Story Mapping and whipped up a FeatureMap to help manage who was getting what!
We started this intro to story mapping with a basic run down and a simple exercise taking you through the morning tasks and making a map. Now we will look at how to define features in a product.
When you first start off it is best to have an idea of the ideal product, but have not yet started on your product roadmap. Instead start with the user’s normal workflow (minus the app or software) and figure out how to translate that flow into a product experience.
Below I have outlined an example case study of arranging a conference with the persona of the organiser and board member.
The team sat down and exchanged tasks, goals and ideas. We then started to construct a story map based on the conference organiser’s first set of responsbilities and workflow.
After the initial workflow you will notice the goal at the top linked to the persona.
The main activities are in the first row, divided into further tasks in each column which details each activity.
On a card we have further detail such as:
After we established the conference organiser’s tasks we then expanded the story map to include the expanded responsibilities and workflow of the entire Team.
With this map now completed we can see the user workflow and what features we need defined.