User History Mapping is a book about how to create value in an effective and sustainable way when developing software. To achieve this goal, it uses stories as a means to an end. Collaboration and communication between team members and stakeholders are the real reason behind writing story cards: ‘A right-sized story from a user’s perspective is one that fulfills a need’; ‘A right-sized story from a development team’s perspective is one that takes just a few days to build and test’; ‘A right-sized story from a business perspective is one that helps a business achieve a business outcome’. There are different perspectives, and all of them are right.
Teams should not focus on maximizing output, but to minimize it. Teams build less. The focus should be on maximizing outcome and impact with the less possible effort.
Scope creep is seen from a new perspective. Where an increase of work is not caused by scope creep, but it’s caused by a growth in understanding. In the end, the real goal of using stories is shared knowledge so, the team learns how to get to the outcome faster. This fast outcome is achieved by solving the right problems, building less, working incrementally and using each iteration as a learning experience.
The book offers insights on the advantages and downsides of using templates like “As a [type of user] I want to [do something] So that I can [get some benefit]”. But there are better books if you are looking for receipts that you can use directly on your SCRUM day to day. The author offers a high-level understanding of the process so you can get to the details of the methodology by yourself.
These ways of working will allow for a more predictable outcome, as
‘the best estimates come from developers who really understand what
All the advice is practical and tries to move away from dogmatisms. The
author warns agile practitioners about the risks of trying to be
perfect, and focusing too much in methodology instead of understanding.
To do a good enough job, to learn from mistakes, and to sustain a
collaborative environment is the good way forward.
“User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product”
by Peter Economy, Jeff Patton
Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Release Date: September 2014