Product management glosary

Story Mapping

What is Story Mapping?

Story Mapping is a visual technique used in product management and software development to help teams better understand and organize their work. It involves creating a visual representation of a product's user journey, breaking it down into individual user stories and tasks. This method helps teams prioritize features, identify dependencies, and ensure that the product is built in a way that meets the needs of its users. In this article, we will explore the concept of Story Mapping, its benefits, and how to create a story map for your product.

Why Use Story Mapping?

Story Mapping offers several benefits to product teams, including:

  • Improved understanding of user needs: By visually representing the user journey, teams can better understand the needs and pain points of their users, ensuring that the product is designed to address these issues.
  • Prioritization of features: Story Mapping helps teams identify the most important features to develop first, ensuring that the product delivers value to users as quickly as possible.
  • Collaboration and communication: Creating a story map encourages team members to discuss and collaborate on the product's development, fostering a shared understanding of the project's goals and requirements.
  • Identification of dependencies: By organizing user stories and tasks visually, teams can more easily identify dependencies between features and plan their development accordingly.

Creating a Story Map

Creating a story map involves several steps, which can be broken down as follows:

  1. Define the user journey: Begin by outlining the high-level steps that a user will take when interacting with your product. This can be done by creating a series of "epics" or broad categories that represent the main stages of the user journey.
  2. Break down the journey into user stories: For each epic, identify the specific user stories that describe the tasks and actions users will take within that stage of the journey. These stories should be written from the user's perspective and focus on their needs and goals.
  3. Organize the stories: Arrange the user stories in a visual format, typically in columns beneath their corresponding epic. This creates a clear hierarchy of tasks and helps teams understand the relationships between different parts of the user journey.
  4. Add tasks and details: For each user story, identify the specific tasks and requirements needed to implement the feature. This can include technical details, design elements, and any other information necessary for development.
  5. Prioritize and plan: With the story map complete, teams can now prioritize features and plan their development. This may involve identifying dependencies, estimating the effort required for each task, and determining the order in which features should be developed.


Story Mapping is a valuable technique for product management and software development teams, helping to improve understanding of user needs, prioritize features, and foster collaboration. By visually representing the user journey and breaking it down into individual user stories and tasks, teams can ensure that their product is built in a way that meets the needs of its users and delivers value as quickly as possible.