How User Story Mapping Can Revolutionize Agile Project Management

Agile project management has become an integral part of software development methodologies. It has revolutionized the way software development teams operate, making them more flexible and adaptable to changing market demands. At FeatureMap, a User Story Mapping Software company built by engineers, we believe that User Story Mapping is the best agile technique for managing software development projects.

What is User Story Mapping?

User Story Mapping is a technique used in agile project management to plan and organize product development based on user needs. It involves creating a visual representation of user stories, which are short, simple descriptions of a feature or functionality that a user needs to accomplish a specific task. The user stories are then grouped into themes or epics, and arranged in a hierarchical order to create a map of the product development process.

Why is User Story Mapping the Best Agile Technique?

User Story Mapping is the best agile technique for several reasons. Firstly, it helps in prioritizing techniques by providing a clear understanding of the user needs and requirements. This enables the development team to focus on the most important features and functionalities, ensuring that the product meets the user’s needs and expectations.

Secondly, User Story Mapping is a lightweight and non-nonsense stand-alone solution, which means that it is easy to use and does not require any additional software or tools. This makes it accessible to all members of the development team, regardless of their technical expertise.

Thirdly, User Story Mapping is an effective tool for creating agile project plans. By providing a clear and concise overview of the user stories and their priorities, it enables the development team to plan and schedule their work more efficiently. This ensures that the project stays on track and is completed within the required timeframe.

Example of User Story Mapping in Agile Project Management

Let us consider an example of how User Story Mapping can be used in agile project management. Suppose we are developing a project management software using agile development software. The first step is to identify the user needs and requirements. This can be done by creating user stories, such as “As a project manager, I want to be able to assign tasks to team members, so that I can track their progress and ensure timely completion of the project.”

Once the user stories have been created, they can be organized into themes or epics, such as “Project Management,” “Task Assignment,” and “Progress Tracking.” These themes can then be arranged in a hierarchical order, creating a map of the product development process.

Using User Story Mapping, the development team can easily prioritize the user stories based on their importance and create an agile project plan that focuses on the most critical features and functionalities. This ensures that the project is completed within the required timeframe and meets the user’s needs and expectations.

The Bottom Line

User Story Mapping is one of the best agile techniques for managing software development projects. It helps in prioritizing techniques, creating agile project plans, and providing a lightweight and non-nonsense stand-alone solution. At FeatureMap, we believe that User Story Mapping is essential for any software development team that wants to be agile and flexible in today’s fast-paced market.

You can try FeatureMap and get started with making your first map right away, and for free.

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, 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 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!