User Story Mapping

A model for working with Scrum User Stories.

What is it?

A user story map arranges user stories into a useful model to help understand the functionality of the system, identify holes and omissions in your backlog, and effectively plan holistic releases that deliver value to users and business with each release.

How does it work?

User story mapping consists of ordering user stories along two independent dimensions. The “map” arranges user activities along the horizontal axis in rough order of priority (or “the order in which you would describe activities to explain the behaviour of the system”). Down the vertical axis, it represents increasing sophistication of the implementation.

Given a story map so arranged, the first horizontal row represents a “walking skeleton”, a barebones but usable version of the product. Working through successive rows fleshes out the product with additional functionality.

Why use it?

To remain focused on users and their needs during the software development process, and ultimately deliver high value products.

Who was it created by?

  • Jeff Patton

Who uses it?

[Let us know if you are aware of any uses cases.]

How can I learn more about it?

From the source.

  • Jeff Patton’s blog article:
  • The presentation:

Read the book.

Watch a presentation.

Take a course.

[Let us know if you you are aware of anyone teaching a course about User Story Mapping]

Attend a workshop.

[Let us know if you you are aware of anyone teaching a course about User Story Mapping]

Attend a meetup.

[Let us know if you you are aware of meetups discussing User Story Mapping]


  • User Story Map concepts:
  • User Story essentials:
  • Learn how to write better user stories (book):

About this article.

This article is part of a series of articles guiding readers in exploring the many frameworks and methodologies in product management. You can browse all articles here:

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Tell us if this article was useful, if we made any mistakes, how we can improve it, and if you want to see similar articles for other Product Management frameworks and methodologies (and which ones).

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