User Story Mapping
Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2014
Pages: 324

User story mapping is a valuable tool for software development, once you understand why and how to use it. This insightful book examines how this often misunderstood technique can help your team stay focused on users and their needs without getting lost in the enthusiasm for individual product features.

Author Jeff Patton shows you how changeable story maps enable your team to hold better conversations about the project throughout the development process. Your team will learn to come away with a shared understanding of what you’re attempting to build and why.

  • Get a high-level view of story mapping, with an exercise to learn key concepts quickly
  • Understand how stories really work, and how they come to life in Agile and Lean projects
  • Dive into a story’s lifecycle, starting with opportunities and moving deeper into discovery
  • Prepare your stories, pay attention while they’re built, and learn from those you convert to working software
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Product Details
About the Author
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oreillyUser Story Mapping
 
4.8

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (8)
  • Concise (7)
  • Well-written (7)
  • Helpful examples (6)
  • Accurate (5)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (7)
    • Expert (6)
    • Novice (6)
    • Student (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (6), Educator (4), Designer (3)

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    4.0

    Useful Consulting Guide

    By Alex

    from Washington, DC

    About Me Consultant

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Too basic
    • Too Obvious

    Best Uses

    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

    This read more as a (concise and thoughtful) guide to consulting issues and practices, rather than a data-heavy manual as the title implied, but it was still a good read, and covered some generically useful ideas that probably don't often surface in more highly technical manuals. If you are a business consultant, much of what is contained in this book may strike you as obvious, but for users with a background that is more technical than business, it could be a handy primer.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Buy it!

    By H Bredsdorff

    from Denmark, Copenhagen

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

        I have never felt like reviewing a book. But this is so good, I immediately wanted to do it, when O'Reilly asked if I wanted to.

        This book caught my attention right from the start. It's well written, it's fun, I'm invited to join in and Jeff Patton reveals the benefits of the method step by stem. It's like being on a Scrum Team, getting value in short sprints :). I can use everything in it together or just pick what I like.

        I would recommend it to anybody, who wants to be good at creating overview and shared understanding in any form om creating af product. My ideas of how I can use this is bursting.

         
        5.0

        must read

        By Salim Lakhani

        from Denver, CO

        About Me Designer, Developer, Maker, Sys Admin

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate
          • Novice
          • Read This First
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

          Mind meld with stake holders, designers, and developers... one of the best books ever!

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          An honest book

          By Martin

          from Tiverton, Devon

          About Me Developer, Educator

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Expert
            • Intermediate

            Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

            User Story Mapping
            By Jeff Patton
            Publisher: O'Reilly Media
            Released: 2014
            Pages: 276

            The high points in this book from Jeff Patton are too numerous to mention. I found myself taking copious notes, and you could do the same, but it would probably make more sense to keep it near you and dip into it regularly until you have fully digested it.

            It is filled with good quotes e.g.

            'There's always more to build than you have people, time, or money for. Always.' (Ch2 p21).

            Chapter 5 is a real gem - a real world example of how to map stories, and so down to earth that you carry it with you.

            It is a book that makes clear the rationale behind user stories i.e. it doesn't simply contain a description of: 'As a.. I want.. So that' but goes further and explains why user stories exist, how they originated, why they are better than traditional requirements methods, and more importantly - how they should be used.

            'Stories get their name from how they should be used, not what should be written.'
            (p3:49)

            There is a breadth of experience here: the author brings together old ideas, 'card, collaboration, confirmation' with newer ideas such as the Lean Startup 'build, measure, learn'.

            The book is chock full of thought based on experience, the points and the quotes similar to the above do not leave you asking for more: they are explained and then dissected, and the flaws and the pitfalls are confronted. As the ideas 'live' they contain a recognition that in practice you may find tweaks that suit you.

            This is an honest book and one that makes you think. Its main strengths are the real world, down to earth examples that have depth and resonate. It goes the extra mile - thank you Jeff Patton.

            Disclosure: I'm writing this post as part of O'Reilly's blogger review program.

            Martin Rowe

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Book!!!!

            By Max

            from Draper, UT

            About Me Designer, Developer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

              Easy to understand, great examples and materials I can use right away in current design and planning work.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              I wished I read this 10 years ago

              By Mark Pearl

              from Johannesburg, South Africa

              About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Concise
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

                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 Patton'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.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                A long wished-for book

                By gamsjo

                from Oslo, Norway

                About Me Educator

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Well-written

                Cons

                • Not comprehensive enough

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate

                Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

                I have used Story Mapping at clients several times - with some success. But up to now I have had to rely a bit too much on the fragmented stuff Jeff Patton have published - and on experimentation.
                Now, with this book in hand I will feel more confident about the whole thinking behind the Story Mapping as a tool.
                The book is well written and do have a nice mix of small examples, anecdotes and theory. In the latest version I found the last chapters (from Rock-breaking and out) very valuable.
                If I could choose some additions, it would be examples of how to handle slightly overlapping stories. What if two (or more) important stakeholders (different personas) tell the same story, but with some minor, but important differences.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Many good ideas to think about

                By Andrei Trusau

                from Minsk, Belarus

                About Me Developer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice

                  Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

                  I have found good ideas which are valuable not only for agile methodologies but for requirements collection and software development in general. We do not use user stories on every project, but this book is still very useful for me, because it puts many things in my head on the right place.

                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  A rewarding read

                  By Erik P

                  from Melbourne Australia

                  About Me Developer, Educator

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Concise
                  • Easy to understand
                  • Engaging
                  • Entertaining
                  • Helpful examples
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Expert
                    • Intermediate
                    • Novice

                    Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

                    This is a great book, even though its an early draft. It's written really well, almost like you're sitting beside Jeff as he talks you through the material. On top of that, it's also very engaging and entertaining.

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