Story Mapping Example Problems

I have a fundamental problem when teaching Story Mapping in a class or workshop. That is, participants never have enough time to build a complete enough backlog to explore all the different release and development strategies that having a full backlog gives you. That sucks. But, I have a simple solution.

I’ve borrowed an idea from cooking shows. You know how when you watch a cooking show the chef cuts up and prepares some of the ingredients – but not all of them? Someone behind the scenes and ahead of the show has cut up all the ingredients and got them ready so the chef can just pull them out and mix them in. They may have even cooked up whatever the chef will put into the oven so at the right time in the show, the chef can pull something out of the oven ready to taste. That’s what I’ve done with a couple story mapping problems I use in classes. Basically, I’ve chopped, mixed, and cooked up a small software product. It’s nearly done. But to finish it, you’ll need to add a little of your own effort.

Lists – mobile planning and to-do lists

The lists problem is yet another mobile app to create simple to-do lists, plans, wish lists – or whatever your target users might wish to create. Who your target user is, and what’s in scope is up to you.

You can see a directory of all the lists parts here.

In it you’ll find:

  • background on the problem
  • an opportunity canvas all filled out – but with some vague stuff you could improve on
  • 3 possible personas in a  2-column proto-persona format with room for you to fill in your solution ideas
  • a story map made to print out on Avery pre-perforated business cards
  • some really rough UI sketches so you can get some ideas what the app could look like – but they’re pretty uninspired. You could do better!

Here’s what it looks like printed and spread out on my office floor.

lists problem

Film Finder – a place to find info on movies

Yes I know there’s and lots of other sites and apps out there… but maybe a trimmer app focused on a particular type of user might find a different niche.

You can find this older problem here.


If you find these examples useful to learn to work with story maps, or if you have any comments or questions, please get in touch.