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What would you like to do?
From SCRUM to Story Mapping

Definition of Understood

When have we really understood something? What do we need at least to talk about?

  • Really talk about who
  • Really talk about what
  • Really talk about why
  • Talk about what’s going on outside the software
  • Talk about what can go wrong
  • Talk about questions and assumptions
  • Talk about best solutions
  • Talk about how (to come close to the best solution)
  • Talk about how long


When we want to change something in our application we go through the phases below.

Opportunities Discovery Delivery Evaluate
Who PO+X PO+Developer+X (PO)+Developers+X Everybody
Topic Who/What/Why Throwaways/Mocks Agree on a plan and execute Learn
Why Go/No Go Understand how to use it Actionable Stories + Acceptance Criteria Revised Plan
Mode Meeting (<=3 people) Group work (<=3 people) Group work (<=3 people) Meeting

Those Phases in our SCRUM now...

These phases above do not map 1:1 to our SCRUM process so do not try to compare the two. At different times in our SCRUM process we have gone through different phases. Often we completely skipped/neglected some phase. Here is where I think some of the things happen right now (note: this is probably very incomplete)

Opportunities Discovery Delivery Evaluate
Old PO Research Tasks/Cards in the sprint Grooming + Planing Review/Retro


Instead of having a couple of repeating meetings (with everyone together) I would like to go through the different phases by doing what fits them best.


  1. A small group of people take an opportunity and gather understanding of how the customer would work and how we’re helping them.
  2. Verify our assumptions by mocking/prototypes/documentation that you run by the customer.
  3. Envision your solution. Expand the story map with all the things you would need for a MVP/Skateboard/Walking Skeleton.

Story Workshops

  1. A small group of people take the MVP/Skateboard/Walking Skeleton further
  2. Deep dive into a topic, trying to make sense of it from a technical perspective
  3. Consider all the possibilities & problems
  4. Expand the story map beyond the MVP/Skateboard/Walking Skeleton

Sprint Planing

  1. Everybody meets on Monday 11:00
  2. PO is presenting the big goal for the sprint increment
  3. Short review of the stories that are needed to make this happen
  4. Break out in small groups and create tasks for the cards
  5. Present tasks to the group
  6. We all agree that this is what we need to do to deliver the increment

Technical Retro

  1. Show and tell the feature
  2. Report on customer feeback
  3. If customer is present, talk to them, let them use the increment on screen (if possible)
  4. Talk about technical/UX problems you encountered
  5. Talk if/how we need to adopt the plan to go on!


  1. Talk about the SCRUM process
  2. Talk about how we worked together as a team

Story vs. Trello Card

This picture explains the difference between a story card on a map and a trello card in a sprint backlog very well.

Story vs. Task

Story Size

Stories come in different sizes. You can break down big stories into smaller stories. Like you can break big rocks into small rocks. The important thing is, they stay stories. Even if you might have different names for them, like epic.

Rock will be rocks Stories will be stories

Fishbowl Meetings

It's large leap to move away from big meetings with everybody together to smaller meetings and coordination. One thing we could try to do is something in between. A large group is in the meeting (outisde the fishbowl), but only a small group is allowed to talk (inside the fishbowl).

Fishbowl Meeting

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