How to Do User Story Mapping

Jeff Patton of User Story Mapping

Jeff Patton, author of User Story Mapping, teaches us how to map user stories by focusing on the user's journey to an outcome. He shares his opinion on the notorious "MVP" and how he helped Gary Levitt build his MVP with Mad Mimi.

  • Here's what to listen for:
  • 00:49 What is a user story?
  • 02:07 What does a user story look like?
  • 02:57 When people refer to user stories do they mean the documentation around the conversations they’ve had?
  • 03:44 Why is just having stories written down in a document not sufficient?
  • 05:47 What is a good user story template?
  • 09:17 What was the motivation for writing User Story Mapping?
  • 11:44 Is the concept of a “map” about the narrative of a user’s journey?
  • 17:36 How did Jeff help Gary from Mad Mimi get clarity on what he was doing?
  • 20:54 Why were things taking longer for Gary when he came to you?
  • 23:31 What does Jeff’s road mapping process look like?
  • 26:47 What was it about Jeff and Gary’s conversation that took him from having a giant backlog to organizing user stories?
  • 29:36 What is your definition of a “minimum viable product” (MVP)?
  • 34:41 Why do you want to build something “less than minimal” before building the MVP?
  • 39:34 Why is so difficult to put a time estimate on when software will be done?
  • 44:53 What is meant by “scope doesn’t creep, understanding grows”?

"Instead of handing off a document, using a story means talking and coming to some shared understanding."

"Stories don’t become stories until they’re told."

"Music isn’t just a list of songs on an iPod. It’s what you hear when you play it."

"People have gotten fixated on the story template. But that’s not the important part."

"Whatever mechanism you were using to document requirements before: keep using it."

"You don’t build enough software to build a good outcome if you’re breaking it down into tiny parts."

"Rip up a $5 bill and try to prioritize the pieces in terms of business value."

"You can take a $20 bill and rip it into shreds, or break it into smaller viable parts like $5 ideas."

"The story is done when we get it, when we're singing from the same hymnal, when we're of the same mind."

"There’s a third definition of MVP: too small to be viable and too big to be an experiment."

"If we don’t agree who our customers are and what success is, we can’t judge what min. and viable means."

"Who would you deliver a product to if you knew they weren’t going to love it? Your best friends!"

"Oftentimes what we call scope creep is us finally figuring out what the other person was talking about."