5 Benefits of Mapping the History of Every Part of Your Software Business

If you search for the phrase “user story mapping,“You might start to think of this as theory and practice for your development team. However, it has the potential to provide benefits to all areas of your business. The strategic thinking used in story mapping can help business units, from sales and marketing to customer service. If your team invests the time to learn the process and develop a roadmap, you will see the benefits throughout your organization.

Here are five benefits of understanding and applying user story mapping across departments:

1. Organization

At every level of an organization there are many moving parts to manage in order to have a successful business. User story mapping lets you document all your thoughts in one consolidated place. By doing this, you can help prevent times when you forget what needs to be done. On a user story map, every thought is recorded and considered right. If you later learn that you are wrong, you can go back and correct yourself. This prevents ideas from getting lost and ensures that every voice is heard.

2. Prioritization

Prioritization is the direct result of organization. You need to focus on tasks that may seem daunting and break them down. With a user story map, you can focus your efforts and energy on specific areas at specific times. Some tasks may take longer than others, or some may need to be completed before you can move forward. When creating a user story map, you can discuss the most important elements and rearrange your map to reflect that. Write down what tasks should be done first, what should be included in the first release of the product, what features might have to wait for the next project, or perhaps what can be removed altogether. By scheduling release dates and assigning tasks to specific members, you can simplify larger tasks into easily digestible pieces.

3. Liability

Managing a business is as much about managing people as it is about managing projects. Mapping user stories helps both sides of management. As discussed with prioritization, you can assign certain parts of the project to certain teams or individuals. This adds a layer of accountability. Each member is aware of their responsibilities and can focus on them and provide updates as they progress through the project. If you want a strong work culture, you need a high level of accountability. Mapping user stories strengthens your team and creates an environment of trust and shared understanding.

4. Visualization

It’s hard to achieve a goal or move forward if you can’t see the end goal. This is why visualization is crucial. A user story map shows your goals from start to finish. It clarifies and makes the end goal more accessible through a holistic view. It serves as a model for approaching the current project. Think of your project as a mountain. Before you start climbing, you stand at the base and see the whole mountain. Then you strategize how to get to the top, step by step. Of course, challenges will unfold and persist throughout the ascension. However, by planning ahead, you can be prepared for these challenges. Mapping user stories allows you to build your vision from scratch, from an idea to a product release.

5. Concentrate

The biggest benefit of all is focus. Mapping user stories lets you focus on what really matters. When developing a product, your customer’s end goal is what matters. By creating a user story map, you know how your customer is reaching their end goal. This creates your goals to focus on. Zoom in on the necessary features before spending time elsewhere.

Whatever your role in your business, user story mapping can help. Before creating your next product or starting your next project, consider trying this new approach. As more companies work remotely, figuring out how to collaborate virtually becomes a necessity. Find ways to get your whole team on the same page about where you’re headed and why. A user story map is a great starting point.

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