User Story Mapping

by Rahulprasad Hurkadli

User story mapping is a technique for documenting and managing requirements. It maps out the features of an application, system, or product in terms of user stories, short descriptions that capture who wants to do what with the software. The purpose behind this technique is to define all of the necessary steps required for achieving a goal. This way, you know what needs to happen and when. User stories are a form of requirements gathering that is often used for agile development projects. User story mapping can be helpful for any team - from startups to enterprise teams - who wants to focus on defining their product vision before coding or designing it.

Benefits of user story mapping

1.Builds user value

When a product team creates a story map, they view it from the customer's perspective. This will helps them to identify how users experience the product and put effort into designing them based on user preferences.

2.Prioritise work

With the help of user story mapping, you can prioritise your work from the most important to the least important task. This helps you to allocate funds, gather resources, and organise your product release.

3.Better communication

User story mapping is a great way to communicate with stakeholders and project team members. It helps clarify what you are doing, why you are doing it, who will be impacted by the implementation, and when the work will be done.

4.Easy to understand

In a software development project, the story map tells the entire story of what problems the application solves and how it does. It gives a holistic view of your application, providing meaningful value to people from non-technical backgrounds.

5. Identifies risk

A user story map is an organizer that can be used to illustrate how risk is dispersed across different aspects of your project. Creating a story map will help you visualize any blocks, risks and help you set up contingency plans to minimize risk during product development and release.

Teams who should participate in user story mapping

User story mapping requires a collaborative effort from cross-functional teams in building a product. Each team has its collaborative effort towards the successful delivery of the product to its users. The following sections are responsible for creating a holistic view of the product.


The engineering team is responsible for carrying out all tasks related to development, coding, testing, and debugging this product. They are also in charge of making sure that deadlines are met, and goals are achieved accordingly.

2.Product management team

Product management is a vital part of the development process, and user story mapping allows team members to work together during this stage. The product managers will identify the high-level features that need to be developed and break them down into more minor parts, which are then handed over to the designers. User story mapping helps teams stay organised and on track while simultaneously communicating progress with stakeholders throughout the project life cycle

3.Marketing team

The marketing team can use user story mapping it to understand how their work impacts business goals. It can be difficult for marketers to focus on what the customer needs when they're not close enough to the process of building a product or service. User-story mapping helps marketers see how their work aligns with the rest of the business and provides an opportunity for them to pitch their ideas within a framework that will make sense to other teams.

User story maps in agile

1.Improved collaboration

User story maps enhance communication around what product is to be released, why, and whom. It enhances decision-making among stakeholders and other business leaders by providing direction rather than creating a lengthy document.

2.Minimum viable product slicing

The Minimum-viable-product approach is a technique used in user story mapping where the project's goal is to release an early version of the product with just enough features so that customers can start using it. The idea behind this method is that you will get feedback from your customers and use their input to improve your product before releasing it more broadly. User story mapping helps the team what their product should include in releasing their early versions and how and when to release product increments.

Steps to create a user story map

1.Frame an objective

Create a goal as to what problem your product will solve and how it will be beneficial for the customers. The team needs to ensure the product is aligning with the customer's needs. This also applies to enhance the existing development.

2.Build a story

Take the help of subject matter experts to walk through the problem, tackle them, and what steps should be taken. In the end, you will have many steps; make sure you organize them and use them for conversation and planning. Ensure to rearrange them in chronological order so that the user can interact with the product.

3.Target audience

Understand the product's users. Some people belong to different age groups and interact with your product differently. Understand your target audience and create stories from their point of view. A lot of time and effort gets wasted in creating products that do not fit your target audience.

4.Prioritise user stories

Once you create detailed user stories, prioritise and rank them with the most important once at the top. If a product has different types of users, categorise the user stories for each. You can move the tasks up and down as per your changes in requirements.

Slice tasks into iterations- Iterations are a crucial concept in user story mapping. Teams set themselves up for success by breaking their work into manageable slices of tasks that can be accomplished within a short time frame, called iterations. Create an iteration plan with deadlines for each job.