CAS StoryMapping

Topic Summary

User story mapping is a powerful tool for understanding workflows and complex aspects of system behavior. By arranging stories according to user goals and identifying ways to increasingly improve how a user can realize their objectives, user story maps help identify holes and omissions in your backlog, improve release planning, and ensure that higher-order goals are realized. In this Collaboration at Scale webinar, we explored the opportunities and challenges that large distributed teams face when creating and using user story maps.

Top 3 Questions Asked

  1. How can you break down epics if the dependencies are not obvious during mapping?
  2. What is is the difference between User Story Mapping and User Story Splitting? 
  3. How do you define an important user?

Featured Framework

     user story mapping


Jeff PattonJeff Patton helps companies adopt a way of working that’s focused on building great products, not just building stuff faster. Jeff blends a mixture of Agile thinking, Lean and Lean Startup Thinking, UX design, and design thinking to end up with a holistic, product-centric way of working. Jeff is author of the bestselling O’Reilly book User Story Mapping, which outlines a simple holistic approach to using stories in Agile development without losing sight of the big picture. You can learn more about Jeff by visiting

Luke Hohmann: Luke Hohmann is the founder and CEO of Conteneo In.(formerly the Innovation Games Company). Conteneo's enterprise software platforms and professional services merge collaboration frameworks, data analytics, and domain expertise to help organizations optimize decision making in the areas of strategy, innovation, sales, product development, and market research. Luke is also co-founder of Every VoiceEngaged Foundation, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit that helps citizens, governments, and other nonprofit organizations collaborate at scale to solve technical and wicked problems.


More Frameworks Discussed in this Webinar 

      story mapping    user story mapping      business model canvas

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Top 3 Questions Asked & Answered

Question 1: How can you break down epics if the dependencies are not obvious during mapping?

Answer: The act of breaking down epics should reveal dependencies. However, it may not be until actual development when the team fully understands all dependencies. For details on managing dependencies, please watch the August 2016 Collaboration at Scale webinar on Managing Dependencies within Distributed Teams: 

Question 2 : What is is the difference between User Story Mapping and User Story Splitting?  

Answer : User Story Mapping organizes a sequence of stories to capture a workflow. User Story Splitting is a technique that Agile teams use when a user story or other Product Backlog Item(PBI) is considered too large. Please see the November 2017 Collaboration at Scale webinar on Product Backlog Refinement:

Question 3: How do you define an important user? 

Answer: we define an important user in a few dimensions. Sometimes the user is important because they represent a key partner, like a Conteneo Certified Collaboration Instructor. Sometimes an important user is very vocal – which is great, because vocal users often push product teams into much better product features (many of Weave͛s best features are the result of key product enhancement requests from vocal users). More broadly, we recommend that Product Owners of revenue-generating products develop a clear understanding of the size and structure of the market they͛re serving so that they can determine the greatest opportunities.