- Paperback: 324 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (September 25, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1491904909
- ISBN-13: 978-1491904909
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 89 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product 1st Edition
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Who Should Read This Book?
You should, of course. Especially if you bought it. I, for one, think you’ve made a wise investment. If you’re just borrowing it, you should order your own now, and return the one you’ve borrowed when the new one arrives at your door. However, reading this book offers specific reasons and benefits for practitioners in specific roles:
- Product managers and user experience (UX) practitioners in commercial product companies should read this book to help them bridge the gap between thinking about whole products and user experience and thinking about tactical plans and backlog items. If you’ve been struggling to get from the vision you’re imagining to the details your teams can build, story maps will help. If you’ve been struggling to help others imagine the experience of—and empathize with—the users of your product, story mapping will help. If you’ve been struggling to figure out how to incorporate good UX and product design practice, this book will help. If you’ve been working to incorporate Lean Startup–style experimentation in the way you work, this book will help.
- Product owners, business analysts, and project managers in information technology (IT) organizations should read this book to help them bridge the gap between their internal users, stakeholders, and developers. If you’ve been struggling to convince lots of stakeholders in your company to get on the same page, then story maps will help. If you’ve been struggling to help developers see the big picture, story maps will help.
- Agile and Lean process coaches with the goal of helping individuals and teams improve should read this book. And, as you do, think about the misconceptions people in your organization have about stories. Use the stories, simple exercises, and practices described in this book to help your teams improve.
- Everyone else. When using Agile processes, we often look to roles like product owners or business analysts to steer a lot of the work with stories, but effective use of stories requires that everyone get the basics. When people don’t understand the basics, you hear complaints that 'stories aren’t well written' or that they’re 'too big,' or that they 'don’t have enough detail.' This book will help, but not in the way you think. You and everyone else will learn that xxiv | Preface stories aren’t a way to write better requirements, but a way to organize and have better conversations. This book will help you understand what kinds of conversations you should be having to help you get the information you need when you need it.
This Book Is for You If You’re Struggling with Stories
Because so many organizations have adopted Agile and Lean processes, and stories along with them, you may fall into one or more of the traps caused by misconceptions about stories. Traps like these: (below). If you’ve fallen into any of those traps, then I’ll try to wipe away the misconceptions that lead to those traps in the first place. You’ll learn how to think of the big picture, how to plan and estimate in the large (and in the small), and how to have productive conversations about what users are trying to accomplish, as well as what a good piece of software needs to do to help them.
- Because stories let you focus on building small things, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. The result is often a “Franken-product” where it’s clear to everyone using the product that it’s assembled from mismatched parts.
- When you’re building a product of any significant size, building one small thing after another leaves people wondering when you’ll ever be done, or what exactly you’ll deliver. If you’re the builder, you wonder, too.
- Because stories are about conversations, people use that idea to avoid writing anything down. Then they forget what they talked about and agreed to in the conversations.
- Because good stories are supposed to have acceptance criteria, we focus on getting acceptance criteria written, but there’s still not a common understanding of what needs to be built. As a consequence, teams don’t finish the work they plan on in the timeframe they planned to.
- Because good stories are supposed to be written from a user’s perspective, and there are lots of parts that users never see, team members argue that "our product doesn’t have users, so user stories won’t work here."
About the Author
Over his past two decades of experience, Jeff Patton has learned there’s no “one right way” to design and build software, but there’s lots of wrong ways.
Jeff makes use of over 15 years experience with a wide variety of products from on-line aircraft parts ordering to electronic medical records to help organizations improve the way they work. Where many development processes focus on delivery speed and efficiency, Jeff balances those concerns with the need for building products that deliver exceptional value and marketplace success.
Jeff has focused on Agile approaches since working on an early Extreme Programming team in 2000. In particular he specializes in integrating effective user experience design and product management practice with strong engineering practice.Jeff currently works as an independent consultant, agile process coach, product design process coach, and instructor. Current articles, essays, and presentations on variety of topics in Agile product development can be found at www.AgileProductDesign.com and in Alistair Cockburn’s Crystal Clear. Jeff is founder and list moderator of the agile-usability Yahoo discussion group, a columnist with StickyMinds.com and IEEE Software, a Certified Scrum Trainer, and winner of the Agile Alliance’s 2007 Gordon Pask Award for contributions to Agile Development.
Top customer reviews
While user stories are a great tool for talking about user needs, by themselves they aren't very good at helping the team understand the big picture. If you've ever had that feeling that you're missing the forest for the trees, user story mapping can mean the difference between building the right thing, or building the wrong thing.
Although he didn't invent user story mapping, Jeff has clearly mastered it and his years of experience are finally available in this book for all to benefit from.
Using many actual examples, anecdotes, metaphors, and humor, Jeff spends the first four chapters explaining what user story maps are, what they're not, and how to apply the knowledge you gain by using them effectively. You'll also learn secrets to estimating (which shouldn't be secrets to anyone), development and delivery strategies that help you reduce risk, and how to know if you're focusing on the right outcomes and building the right thing.
This is the chapter in which Jeff explains how to build a map. And the good news is (spoiler alert), building a story map isn't hard. Using a simple example of a day in your own life, he walks you through each step and drives home each key concept.
Now that you've got a story map, the next six full chapters are devoted to understanding how user stories really work and how to get the most out of them. No matter how much you think you know about stories, you're going to learn some things you didn't know.
If the book ended at this point, I think you'd feel very satisfied that you learned more about stories and story mapping than you thought possible. But there's more.
Jeff then shares more stories and advice about the user story life cycle, managing your backlog, and lots of things you can do to discover what your product should be.
For the finale, you get three chapters devoted to `Better Building'. You'll learn how to conduct user story workshops, how to plan sprints and releases, how to collaborate (and how to not collaborate), and how to get the most from your story maps during the entire delivery process.
User story mapping is an essential tool for the tool box of anybody involved in shaping or building a product and this is the definitive book on how to do it well. The skills you'll learn will have a profound impact on your ability to learn, understand, and build great products.
Regarding the ideas, user story mapping is a clarifying and motivating way to organize your projects and in my experience, in organizations large and small, it's vital to avoiding wasted time, wasted money and wasted energy.
By the end of the first chapter, I was putting the ideas into practice.
The only downside is that half of my walls and floors are covered in post-it notes and my cat is getting annoyed.
This gold nugget of a book manage not only to make those things easy(ier) through a very practical hands on approach, but also fun and entertaining. I cannot remember when I laughed out loud from a textbook before.