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User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product Paperback – Sep 25 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Sept. 25 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491904909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491904909
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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 and in Alistair Cockburn’s Crystal Clear. Jeff is founder and list moderator of the agile-usability Yahoo discussion group, a columnist with 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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Format: Paperback
No other book bridges User-Experience design and Agile development practices better than User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton. For me as a UX practitioner involved at various stages of product development, it is often challenging to communicate user needs and problems we are trying to solve all the way through-out the development process. It is too easy to focus on details and neglect the big picture. User Story Maps are a simple, yet very powerful concept that helps relate all the little pieces to the big picture. And not only that. It is also a great design tool. It facilitates design of better products: from discovery to validation to delivery. You simply cannot expect any less from a tool that puts users first.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. Great reading. Great concept. I am already applying the narrative to map a clear user journey and slicing the story as required. I do recommend the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book helps me to clearly describe a project and what needs to be accomplished in order to return the highest outcome for the company.
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Un must à lire
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 67 reviews
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!!! Sept. 11 2014
By Christoph Steindl - Published on
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. It's all brilliantly well verbalized so that you just can't misunderstand.

I do remember a lot of metaphors from the book - which I hope to bring to my daily practice, e.g. "Vacation Photos", "Template Zombies", "Three Amigos", "Need Sizing", "Orgzonas", "Best Last Conversations", "Asteroids".

I also hope that I don't forget those quotes:
"Shared documents aren't shared understanding"
"The truth is, your job is to change the world. ... Every great idea you turn into a product solution changes the world in some small, or not-so-small way for the people who use it. In fact if it doesn't, you've failed."
"I personally believe that scope doesn't creep, understanding grows."
"You can deliver half a baked cake, not a half-baked cake."
"If you catch yourself saying 'there's not much risk or uncertainty in this project,' you need to remember that those are famous last words."
"Failing to learn is frequently the biggest failure."

All in all, the book is a great summary and explanation of how to work with user stories (and it's not just about the "how" but also about the "why").

And it's realy inspiring!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a must read for people involved in agile development Sept. 26 2014
By Mark Pearl - Published on
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
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Guide for Building and Using Story Maps Oct. 27 2014
By J. Constant - Published on
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. But there's more.

Jeff then shares more stories and advice about the user story life cycle, managing your backlog, and lots of things you can do to discover what your product should be.

For the finale, you get three chapters devoted to `Better Building'. You'll learn how to conduct user story workshops, how to plan sprints and releases, how to collaborate (and how to not collaborate), and how to get the most from your story maps during the entire delivery process.

User story mapping is an essential tool for the tool box of anybody involved in shaping or building a product and this is the definitive book on how to do it well. The skills you'll learn will have a profound impact on your ability to learn, understand, and build great products.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ... of Jeff Patton's Knowledge" as he shares lots of good insights and anecdotal evidences that only someone who has ... Oct. 31 2014
By Alex K. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book should be called "A Compendium of Jeff Patton's Knowledge" as he shares lots of good insights and anecdotal evidences that only someone who has been for a long time truly committed to help team create good products (the right way) can have.

User Story Mapping looks like the spinal cord to his ideas, but there's much more to it, that's why the title may be misleading. A kind of judgement mistake Jeff tries to prevent right on the first few pages of his book.

It's totally worth a read, being that kind of book that you can start experimenting the knowledge while you read it. Those with lesser experience with agile/lean methodologies may be too literal following some of the advices, while more experienced folks may find some parts of the book dispensable. For the latter, remember that it's always useful to revisit the basics in order to deal with cognitive biases that may be lurking in.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're going to read just one book about software (requirements) pick this Dec 22 2014
By Pirkka Rannikko - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've never given 5/5 for any book before but this title definitely has earned it! It is absolutely brilliantly written with a lot of stories and examples. I usually have few books I read concurrently and the progress is slow. The writing style of this one made me keep reading and I finished the book under couple of weeks of calendar time. Even the humor was right and the jokes didn't annoy (as they often do in professional books). And I think I've never been this exited to get my hands dirty with story mapping.

Agile Software Requirements, Specification by Example, Requirements by Collaboration are good books but honestly I think this is the best book about software (requirements) I've read so far and I recommend it to everyone from the executive to the junior developer.