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Partner-Blog Easy Agile #DWSC20: Better together: why we’ve put the user into User Story Maps

The #DWSC20 by Communardo took place from November 3 - 5. For this conference Easy Agile has written this article as a partner blog.

There are some things so obvious that you won­der why it hasn’t hap­pened soo­ner or how you ever lived without it. This is how we feel about Easy Agile User Story Maps and Easy Agile Personas which is why we’ve made them com­pa­ti­ble together.

Central to suc­cess­ful user story map­ping are the questions:

  1. Why are we buil­ding this?
  2. Who are we buil­ding this for?
  3. What value will the solu­tion pro­vide for the cus­to­mer and when?

The ans­wer to all of these ques­ti­ons and the rai­son d'être for a user story map in the first place is the user or customer.

User story map­ping is the visual repre­sen­ta­tion of the jour­ney a cus­to­mer takes with a pro­duct - hel­ping you and your team to focus on what pro­vi­des the most value to your cus­to­mers and their desi­red outcomes.

user per­sona or cus­to­mer per­sona is the embo­di­ment of the cha­rac­te­ris­tics and beha­viours belon­ging to your most valu­able cus­to­mers. It helps ever­yone in your team have a shared under­stan­ding of who your cus­to­mer is in order to empa­thise with them and have them front of mind when working on ways to improve the product.

5 ways adding Personas takes your User Story Map to the next level

So what's the result of brin­ging these two power­ful agile tools and prac­ti­ces together?

Without going into the bene­fit of user story map­ping or crea­ting user per­so­nas as sepa­rate prac­ti­ces, here are five key bene­fits you’ll gain from adding your user Personas to your User Story Map.


1. Add the most important con­text to your User Story Map - your user

How many times can you honestly say you’ve writ­ten or worked on a user story without really knowing who that user is? Could you con­fi­dently share their inte­rests, moti­va­tions, com­mu­ni­ca­tion styles? Could your teammates?

We know com­pa­nies like yours want to be more focu­sed on their cus­to­mers, and the truth is you can’t afford not to. According to a Walker study, cus­to­mer expe­ri­ence will over­take price and pro­duct as the brand dif­fe­ren­tia­tor by the end of 2020.

We also know it’s easier to work on the things we like to work on, or what’s next on the to-do list, or the pro­blems we iden­tify as important - but are these the things that are most important to your most valu­able customers?

The inte­gra­tion bet­ween Easy Agile Personas and Easy Agile User Story Maps adds the most important con­text to your User Story Map - your user - hel­ping your team keep them front of mind.

Easy Agile Personas allows you to link sto­ries on your back­log to Persona pro­files in the Jira issue view, using the Persona and Persona Importance fields. In the latest ver­sion of Easy Agile User Story maps, we’ve expo­sed these fields in the issue view modal. This means that no user story will be left behind because you can now con­nect it with a user right there on the issue in your Story Map.


2. Prioritise the work that deli­vers bet­ter value to your customers

In addi­tion to the Persona cus­tom field on the issue view, you can also set Persona Importance for your Issue. This enab­les your team to focus on what pro­vi­des the most value to your cus­to­mers and their desi­red out­co­mes and prio­ri­tise work accord­in­gly. Focussing your team on work that deli­vers bet­ter value to your cus­to­mers starts by deter­mi­ning what that work is in prac­ti­cal and tan­gi­ble terms i.e. your issues in Jira.


3. Gain a holistic view of the jour­ney for each Persona

So now that you’re able to add the con­text of your cus­to­mer and how important your work is to them, we thought it was also important to be able to fil­ter your story map by Persona and Importance to Persona with a native fil­ter. Prior to this, the only way to fil­ter the Story Map by Persona was to manu­ally create a quick fil­ter out­side of the Story Map, for each of your Personas.

By fil­te­ring your board by Persona, your team has a holistic view of the cus­to­mer jour­ney and can quickly and easily see which deve­lo­p­ments in the upco­m­ing Sprint/Release directly impacts and ser­ves each of your Personas.


4. Better visi­bi­lity to easily align your team's out­put with cus­to­mer outcomes

Together with the cus­tom fields on your issue and native Persona fil­ter, the abi­lity to fil­ter your board by Importance to Persona allows for bet­ter visi­bi­lity and enab­les grea­ter and more effec­tive col­la­bo­ra­tion bet­ween teams. Not only does this make it easier to ensure that high impor­t­ance, low effort sto­ries are being prio­ri­ti­sed, but also unleas­hes your team’s capa­bi­lity to run truly customer-focused story map­ping ses­si­ons.


5. Seamless plan­ning ses­si­ons with less interruptions

With Easy Agile Personas and Easy Agile User Story Maps, not only do you not need to leave Jira to create your Personas or map out your User Story, but with this inte­gra­tion you don’t even need to leave your Story Map to assign issues to Personas and Persona Importance. We’ve worked hard to have Easy Agile Personas and Easy Agile User Story Maps work bet­ter tog­e­ther - so your team can too.


For more infor­ma­tion on Easy Agile, visit the web­site or ask Communardo. 



12. November 2020

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