The User Story Mapping Workshop process

A technique that I’ve known for a long time — but has been improved by my recent Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Certified Product Owner (CSPO) training — is how to conduct a “User Story Mapping Workshop” at the beginning of a new software development project.

The basics are simple: You get together in a room with the Product Owner, Stakeholders, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs, also known as Domain Experts), Developers, Designers, ScrumMaster, and anyone else who should be there. Then you begin brainstorming the possible user stories and personas (also known as users, or actors).

A User Story Mapping Workshop board

For example, this is what a User Story Mapping Workshop board might look like if you were brainstorming and inventing Facebook back in the day:

Note that the board includes both potential user stories (at different levels of detail) as well as personas. I like to add them all as they come up.

It’s generally more effective and preferred to do this with actual sticky notes on a wall or table, but in some cases using a software tool can be acceptable. (Though the use of a software tool is generally considered a bad practice. Feel free to ask me about this when we’re working together.)

Starting to organize the User Story Mapping board

Once you’ve gotten a little way into your effort you will naturally see that the user stories line up into different categories. For instance, if you continued to work on the invention of Facebook, you would eventually start organizing your stories into logical groups like this:

In this grouping:

  • Posts are any stories related to adding, editing, or deleting a post
  • Friends are any stories related to adding, editing, or deleting a friend
  • Account is any stories related to managing your account

Continuing from here

At this point you would continue this process in a variety of ways, including the ongoing management and grouping of stories, adding story details, and much more. I’ll add to this at some point, but until then, if you’re interested in the User Story Mapping Workshop process, I hope this example is helpful.

Reporting live from Longmont, Colorado,
Alvin Alexander
Certified ScrumMaster & Certified Scrum Product Owner

Valley Programming is currently a one-person business, owned and operated by Alvin Alexander. If you’re interested in anything you read here, feel free to contact me at “al” at (“@”) this website name (“”), or at the phone number shown below. I’m just getting back to business here in November, 2021, and eventually I’ll get a contact form set up here, but until then, I hope that works.