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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oreillyUser Story Mapping
 
4.8

(based on 13 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (11)
  • Helpful examples (10)
  • Well-written (10)
  • Concise (9)
  • Accurate (7)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (11)
  • Expert (7)
  • Novice (7)
  • Student (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (8), Educator (6), Designer (5), Maker (3)

Reviewed by 13 customers

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4.0

Engaging for both users and business analysts

By digital collecting

from Canberra, Australia

Verified Buyer

Pros

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

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

    I have found that as suggested in the book that it really engages the users and keeps the conversations going as they feel they can actively participate rather than reporting their requirements.

     
    5.0

    It's about time!

    By Jonathan House - Agile Sadist

    from Salt Lake City, UT

    About Me Most Of The Above

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Fixes Misconceptions
    • Helpful examples

    Cons

    • Complex For Beginners

    Best Uses

    • Beginners With A Mentor
    • Expert
    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

    Disclaimer: I've known Jeff Patton for several years now and have been waiting for this book for many moons. I'd even admit that he bribed me with an advance copy, but apparently he lost the paperwork somewhere and I had to go buy my own.

    If you look closely at what User Stories have become, their original purpose has almost completely been stripped away in favor of better templates and more detailed story.

    Not only does Jeff's book remind us very clearly about what stories really are (tokens for conversations), but he also provides an excellent framework for organizing those stories into a comprehensive and cohesive view of what should be delivered. I've been using his story mapping technique (as best I understand it) for several years now and it's the only way I'll charter the development of new software.

    The only complaint I have about the book is the fact that it should have been done at least 5 years ago.

     
    5.0

    Bridging design and agile methods

    By Bill Higgins

    from Raleigh, NC

    About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

      I've worked in software development for a long time and embraced many of the practices associated with agile & DevOps culture, not because they were trendy, but because they helped me deliver a better results. In the past couple of years my company (IBM) got serious about great design and started a design practice. However, since sometimes developers think "if it's not coding, it's the wrong thing", there was some resistance from the engineering community to the design initiative. I joined the design group to help bridge this gap both in terms of culture and practices. Recently I met another IBMer named Rob Purdy who introduced me to this book, and I was skeptical because there are way too many books on software methodology. But by the time I read the "Read This First" section, I was hooked. It helped clarify many of the issues I was seeing and helped shed light on some new issues I hadn't realized were there. I especially loved its concept of output/outcomes/impact, and realized that by using outcome-centric thinking and measures, we could help align goals between design and engineering. I've since bought multiple copies of this book to share with other designers and engineers and have used the output/outcomes/impact concept many times to positive effect. Re: "if I was given this copy as a gift", Rob Purdie *did* give me a copy, but since I already had the ebook version I regifted it to one of our senior designers.

       
      5.0

      Super useful: a breakthrough technique

      By Robmcd

      from wellington, nz

      About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker, Sys Admin

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly User Story Mapping:

        For people who have been using Agile methodology for a while- and wonder why you can still end up with software that isn't designed well.

        Very useful particularly for product owners: keep your eye on the main goals you want to achieve, and have some fun doing it.

        It's too easy to drop straight into building a backlog before you create a vision. This method lets you do this in way that's not fluffy: but fast and practical.

         
        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.

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