Example Mapping Template
Create a shared understanding of a new product feature.
About the Example Mapping Template
Example mapping (or user story mapping) helps product managers and their teams quickly break down product backlogs. Ideally, example maps help a cross-functional team (for instance, a product owner, tester, and developer) build up a shared understanding and language for why product features need to change.
Team leads can offer strategic direction toward a cohesive digital transformation (or timely upgrade) so your team has the relevant technology to stay competitive!
Keep reading to learn more about example mapping.
What is example mapping
An example mapping session is a great way to develop structured, concrete user stories. Each example uncovered can help teams explore problem areas for customers and decide on acceptable criteria to build a new feature.
These key elements need recording during an example mapping session:
Rules that sum up examples or agree on the scope of the user story.
Questions or identifying assumptions about situations where no one knows the ideal outcome.
New stories that should be discovered or left out of the final scope.
Example mapping also relies on a color-coded system to shape the scope of a user story:
Yellow sticky notes are for defining stories, such as “change of delivery address”
Blue sticky notes are for defining rules, such as “ETA is updated”
Green sticky notes are for defining examples, like “New address is out of range”
Red sticky notes are for questions, like “what if the customer lives outside the free shipping zone?”
This color-coded system helps steer the conversation in the right direction and keep the discussion on track.
When to use example mapping
Example mapping is a collaborative method that can help your team define what accepted user behavior looks like for different situations. The example mapping system can be a useful way to align your cross-functional teams toward:
Empathy for the customer and the team: Everyone should understand why new product features are needed, and what the customer may be struggling with as far as conflicts between stories and rules.
Shared understanding of the industry or product: By the end of the example mapping session, the team should leave with a shared language and appreciation for what’s at stake.
Small yet impactful potential for change: Think big and act small as a team. How soon can each recorded user story be translated into a real feature?
Rules and examples that follow logic: Specific rules and scenarios should back up every user story.
Create your own example map
Making your own example maps is easy. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share them. Get started by selecting the Example Map Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.
Understand the problem. Ask your product owner to define the user problem on a yellow sticky note, then explain how this translates to a need for a change in the product features. This helps the team better understand the problem.
Challenge the problem by asking follow-up questions. Collect all your team’s questions on red sticky notes, starting with “What if...?” These questions will live under your user story (the yellow sticky note).
Figure out the rules. Find the rules in the answers to the questions on red sticky notes. Each rule is your acceptance criteria for new product features. Make sure that every new rule can stand on its own. Ideally, it shouldn't be confused with or too similar to another rule.
Describe situations with relevant examples. Green sticky notes are where you record and collect interesting potential cases or instances. Keep the discussion going, and engage your team’s critical thinking skills by checking if you’ve reached the boundaries of the rule of your examples, as well as considering what happens if the rule fails.
Identify outcomes, impacts, and success metrics. What do you hope to accomplish with a new product feature, and how does it contribute to your business objectives? Consider how you might track and test the success of each proposed feature – what behavior you’ll be looking for and measuring.
Turn your stories into an action item. These stories can be turned into a development plan for Sprint planning. They can also form the basis of a minimum amount of features needed to be valuable to your customer.
Example Mapping Template
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Invite your team members to collaborate on your new Example Mapping Template. Miro enables you to engage co-located and remote teams on a virtual whiteboard, without constraints.
Need to share your Example Mapping Template with others? Miro has multiple exporting options, like saving to PDF.
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