As a Product Owner, I am sure this has happened to you. You worked with a team on an initiative and it resulted in something different than your vision. The customer was not happy, you were not happy and the team felt they had done everything that was asked.

How do we change this? How do we build a common understanding around the product vision?

User Story Mapping is one of the tools that can help bridge the gap from idea to fruition. Story Mapping can be applied to software development and real life situations. It requires only a few simple ingredients: user personas, customer journey and clear outcomes. This will provide a basis to discuss, prioritize and slice your backlog. Story Maps are a great way to guide a team to quickly creating a minimal viable product and validate the solution fit.

When I was a product owner, I have created story maps on initiative, portfolio, feature levels of my product. They have helped articulate my vision with the team, and the team refined the product vision.

In this session, we will create a Story Map, leverage tools and techniques like empathy map, Kano model and MoSCoW to slice backlogs and most importantly tell your story. This workshop will hopefully help Product Owners and teams to focus on the user's journey.


Outline/Structure of the Workshop

00:00 Check in with the room - Why are you here?

00:05 Introduction – Humorous examples of communication mishaps resulting in product failures (

00:10 Overview of Story Mapping (how to start, what is involved including user personas)

[Group Activity] 00:20 Select a story to tell (either planning an award show or building a Warehouse Management System or fill in the blank)

[Group Activity] 00:25 Define personas and user types (using empathy maps to profile key personas, templates will be provided)

00:35 Overview of narrative flow

[Group Activity] 00:40 Identify major activities of the story (Check the groups on the direction they take, and provide guidance as needed)

00:50 Overview of narrative flow

[Group Activity] 00:55 Fill in the details for each activity

01:05 Overview prioritization based on outcomes, slicing minimal viable product

[Group Activity] 01:10 Prioritize and slice out the activities (referencing MoSCoW, Kano models for prioritization)

01:20 Reflect and closing (How do you leverage this in your organization, What can we add to it, How do we make it better? )

** For the activity, we have allocated 10 minutes per section. We realize this will be tight and will encourage the groups to move quickly through the sections, but be mindful not to cut valuable discussions.

**This is best done as a workshop, but can also be modified as a talk (60 minutes) with audience interaction.

Learning Outcome

  • How to create a story map (ideally for Product Owner and team before starting on an initiative)
  • Identify personas and user types (empathy maps to profile key personas)
  • Focus on the user's journey, not just features
  • Prioritize and slice out the activities (MoSCoW, Kano models for prioritization)
  • Using story map as a tool to promote conversations that define and refine the product.

Target Audience

Product Owner, Scrum Master, Anyone interested in mapping out a user's journey through the product and the role of personas.

Prerequisites for Attendees


schedule Submitted 3 years ago