Story Mapping has become my favourite initiation tool as a Requirements Engineer and UX Designer. It is a great tool to visualize business processes and user interactions. It was invented by Jeff Patton and he described the concept in 2005 in his article It’s all in how you slice it. The term User Story Mapping came up not before 2008 when Jeff released an article with the title The new user story backlog is a map. Jeff Patton recently published his book User Story Mapping – “Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product” with O’Reilly.
I have an example I can show you from one of my favourite exercises (also covered in Jeff’s book) to create a map for the things you do from when you wake up until you leave your house. I will describe in a later article of how I do the exercise but here just in summary:
On top you can see the backbone of how to get up, do your stuff on the toilet, have breakfast and then make yourself ready to leave your house.
The minimal stuff you have to do to leave in a rush is the so called Minimal Viable Product (MVP) that includes wake up, dress, toilet, take your bag and leave. You might take a chewing gum to get at least a fresh breath. 😉
If you have some more time you can do now all kind of things (that can be prioritised) like pressing the snooze buttons multiple times, take a shower, brush your teeth, drink coffee, eat something, do some e-mails, etc.
If you have now different people (aka persona) you will find different tasks required to make their process working. As an example a mother of kids has multiple tasks around her kids or a pet owner probably needs to walk his dog before he leave him for the day.
All in all, its a great tool to prfioritize the tasks as you best build the MVP and then might support pet owners. It is also a great tool to get an overview and achieve shared understanding.