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.
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (October 7, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 324 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1491904909
- ISBN-13 : 978-1491904909
- Item Weight : 1.11 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.68 x 9.02 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #19,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Here, the book provides a lot of "why" (which I can tolerate) and a lot of "how" (which I would welcome eventually, but very little "what". For an impatient bugger like me, that's frustrating.
The book is amazing and has lots of great insights on how to do software delivery, it dives a bit into discovery, but it's primarily a great tool to keep the stakeholders aligned and to keep the work front and centre, easy to talk about and refine.
The book does go about it in a non-linear manner so if you're looking for a very clear process, look elsewhere. But that's probably because there's no start and end to the work in such environments, you're always refining and reviewing and starting over.
As a seasoned developer and agile practitioner, this book has been a very welcome addition to my library, and one that I will gladly recommend to friends, colleagues and interested parties.
The author doesn't define or introduce Agile or "stories" but uses "story" in pretty much every sentence. It's defining a word by using the word.
I'm also critical of books like this where authors are trying to defend and market a term they coined, justifying the need for the book by pointing to everyone that's currently "using it wrong." User error? Maybe it's just not a very precise term or tool? Why don't you explain another way and iterate instead of digging your heels in. Especially in this field, it's ironic.
There are boring anecdotes that, ironically, often involve him leaving the room and coming back later in the day to discover a team's progress or eureka moment. You weren't even there?
There are a lot of amateurish illustrations that aren't that legible, and pictures of white tech bros with baseball caps looking proud of themselves in front of a mess of sticky notes.
This actually made me question my career choice.
The language is all fluff. Pull-out quotes with maxims like "Your first story discussion is for framing the opportunity."
The first half of the book felt like it's therr to increase the page count. One can tell if the author is writing in a slow pase on purpose. He tried to make too many little jokes, and the writing style was too relaxed. That, and I don't really remember getting anything from if.
The first part deserves 2 stars, the second part gets 4.
In the end, although even the second half doesn't seem organized enough, and it's not really about story maps, there are lots of good ideas there. The ideas however are nothing too original, and if you watched the video series "how to start a startup", or read other books (I can recommend "The effective engineer"), you'll meet the ideas there too.
Good book, will make you google a lot for software for building good story maps. Try some spreadsheet software - can do wonders...you don't need stuff that's too fancy :p