Visual Story Map Template
Follow a step-by-step process to plan out your story.
About the Visual Story Mapping template
How does Visual Story Mapping add depth to your ideas?
Some people like to think of a visual story map as a stylized to-do list, but it’s a lot more powerful than that. Visual story mapping allows your product management team to visualize multiple dimensions of information. In doing so, you can identify how these parts will come together to create a successful whole. Use the visual story map template to make sure your product managers are aligned and to create a single source of truth about your projects.
What are the 4 benefits of using a Visual Story Map?
See the entire project from start to finish. When planning out a project, it can be difficult to visualize it from beginning to end. Visual story maps give you a holistic view of the project: types of tasks, or “stories,” you must undertake to finish it, story viability, how stories unfold over a timeline, how stories are prioritized, and when you can expect each story to be finished. The visual story map brings everything together on the page.
Foster collaboration. Story mapping enhances your understanding of a project by giving you a complete picture. That’s why a visual story map is a great tool for encouraging collaboration within and across teams. Use the visual story map template to assign stakeholders, give people ownership over their responsibilities, scope out projects, share learnings, and brainstorm.
Conduct gap analysis. Once you’ve mapped out your product management tasks as a visual story, it becomes easier to identify missing elements. Your teams can then get together to add solutions to the workflow, brainstorm ideas, and identify missing features. The visual story map allows you to see these elements before they impact your customer and bottom line.
Plan out timelines. Visual story mapping helps you think about how one aspect of your project flows into another. You can use this knowledge to figure out how long your project will take. This makes it easier to define your scope, assign roles, and budget accordingly.
What does CAST stand for?
Content row: A lot of presentations have too much content that is not relevant to the decision or to the aim of the presentation. The content must lead the audience to understand why and what they must do.
Audience row: You need to understand your audience needs and motivation. What do they need to know? How can you motivate them to take the desired action?
Story row: When you are clear about the content and your audience, you can focus on the story structure. Using the format of a story, rather than simply adding text to your presentation, makes it easy for your audience to listen to you and become involved.
Tell row: Create the words and visuals to focus on the telling of the story. Work out how the story will be conveyed in different formats and test that it has the intended impact.
CAST is understandable for everyone, and breaks down the effort needed to produce a visual story into discrete steps that any professional can follow. Try it!
Large, complex projects have plenty of inherent uncertainty — and can have a lot of possible outcomes. How can you be ready for them all? You can anticipate them. Outcome Mapping is a technique that lets you gather information ahead of time to prepare for the many changes and unforeseen obstacles that arise during a project. This template makes it easy for you to conduct Outcome Mapping in four steps: doing your pre-work, providing a framework for monitoring, developing an evaluation plan, and circulating it to your team and stakeholders.
Someone wise once said that nothing in life is certain. But the waters of the business world? It can seem especially uncertain and unclear. An Assumption Grid can help you navigate those waters and make your decisions confidently. It organizes your business ideas according to the certainty and risk of each — then your team can discuss them and make judgment calls, prioritize, mitigate risk, and overcome uncertainties. That’s why an Assumption Grid is a powerful tool for getting past the decision paralysis that every team occasionally faces.
Is your team in a rut? Have you had a lingering problem that can’t seem to be solved? First introduced in 1972, S.C.A.M.P.E.R. is a brainstorming method developed by Bob Eberle, an author of creativity books for young people. This clever, easy-to-use method helps teams overcome creative roadblocks. S.C.A.M.P.E.R. walks you through seven questions that are meant to encourage your team to approach a problem through seven unique filters. By asking your team to think through a problem using this framework, you’ll unlock fresh, innovative ways to understand the problem you’re trying to solve.
The Sailboat Retrospective is a low-pressure way for teams to reflect on how they handled a project. By defining your risks (the rocks), delaying issues (anchors), helping teams (wind), and the goal (land), you’ll be able to work out what you’re doing well and what you need to improve on for the next sprint. Approaching team dynamics with a sailboat metaphor helps everyone describe where they want to go together by figuring out what slows them down and what helps them reach their future goals.
Blue Ocean 4 Actions Framework
For entrepreneurs, so much comes down to new users—how to attract them, impress them, and convert them to loyal customers. This template, designed by the authors of Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, will help you maximize value for you and your customers alike. Using the template’s four steps (divided into easy columns), you’ll easily evaluate your products in more innovative ways and make sure money is being spent in areas that really matter.
Jobs to be Done
It’s all about a job done right — customers “hire” a product or service to do a “job,” and if it's not done right, the customer will find someone to do it better. Built on that simple premise, the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) framework helps entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business managers define who their customer is and see unmet needs in the market. A standard job story lets you see things from your customers’ perspective by telling their story with a “When I…I Want To…So That I …” story structure.