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User Story Mapping Paperback – October 7, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Paperback, October 7, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

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.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 50 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media (October 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449304559
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449304553
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,512,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I've had high expectations on the new book from Jeff Patton - but no problem, the book really is great (and I don't say that often or easily).

Years ago, I said that the book "Writing Effective Use Cases" from Alistair Cockburn is the best book on "how to find out what I have to program?". As a software developer, it's often not easy to tell since rarely a customer can communicate exactly what the "system" (whatever that may be) has to be capable of.

A few years later, I said "User Stories Applied" from Mike Cohn is the best book.

At the moment, I say "User Story Mapping" from Jeff Patton is the best book on that topic.

It contains a lot of small pearls of wisdom like "Stories aren't a written form of requirements; telling stories through collaboration with words and pictures is a mechanism building shared understanding".

It's just so easy to write "User Stories" as a piece of text (just as you've been used to write "use cases" or even earlier "functional specifications").
You think you're on the safe side if you write the user stories in form of the "Connextra Template" ("As a [type of user] I want to [do something] So that I can [get some benefit]").

But it needs the advice from Jeff Patton's book to get shaken up that - at its core - it's about the many discussions that help to develop a shared understanding (customer / user <=> software develper).
And to get shaken up that you can spare most of the text that you'd be writing by using the Connextra Template if you use a Story Map (the column implies the persona, the row implies the goal).

If you read the book, you'll feel as if Jeff were sitting next to you, explaining everything in detail and with a lot of patience to you.
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Format: Paperback
I've been involved in agile development for a few years but was only recently introduced to the process of story mapping - after reading Jeff’s book I’m feeling more and more like story mapping has been a big missing link.

For instance, one of the common challenges I have faced in the past is deciding on how to get thin vertical slices of releasable features that add value. We used user stories in the past - but looking back at the process we always battled to see the whole picture and often didn't reach our intended goal.

I believe the process of story mapping fills this gap - this is the most effective approach I have seen to getting really good thin vertical slices of real value in a usable and pragmatic way.

Not only did I gain a deeper insight into story mapping, I also gained a deeper insight into user stories. Understanding how to move between items on a story map to user stories and back was invaluable. Jeff’s account of the history of a user stories and how they encompass multiple levels of size brought user stories back in to perspective.

My favorite section in the book was Jeff’s analogy of user stories being like the asteroids game. I immediately saw some anti-patterns we’ve done in the past. I’m not going to ruin it for you, but be sure to read that chapter.

I would recommend User Story Mapping to everyone involved in the agile process. Thank you for making the time to put these thoughts on paper - it has been invaluable.

Sections that really stood out to me included the section on Rock Breaking, Rock Breakers and Stories are actually like Asteroids
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Story mapping keeps us focused on users and their experience, and the result is a better conversation, and ultimately a better product." - Jeff Patton

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.
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