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User Story Mapping by Peter Economy, Jeff Patton

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Chapter 5. You Already Know How

If you think that creating a story map is complicated, or mystical, or in any way hard to do, let me assure you right now that it’s not. In fact, you’re already wired to understand all the basic concepts used to create a map. Let’s work through an example right now, taken from everyday life. And, to make it simple, we’ll use your life. Along the way I’ll give some names to those important concepts you already understand.

Grab a pad of sticky notes and a pen, and follow along with me. Don’t worry—take your time. I’ll wait.

Ready?

1. Write Out Your Story a Step at a Time

Close your eyes, and think back to the moment you woke up this morning. You did wake up this morning, right? What’s the first thing you recall doing? Now, open your eyes, and write it down on a sticky note. I’ll write along with you. My first sticky note says, “Hit snooze.” Unfortunately, it usually does. On bad mornings I may have to hit it two or three times.

Now, peel off that sticky and put it on the table in front of you. Then, think of the next thing you did. Got it? Now, write it on the next sticky, peel it off, and place it next to the first one. Then keep going. My next couple of stickies say, “Turn off alarm” and “Stumble to the bathroom.”

Keep writing sticky notes until you’ve gotten ready for work, or whatever you’re doing today. I usually end with “Get into my car” to start my drive for work. I expect it’ll take you three or four minutes to write all your stickies.

Tasks Are What ...

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