Better together: why we've put the user into Usar Story Maps

Published 09 Aug 2020
by Jasmin Iordanidis, Product Marketing Manager


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There are some things so obvious that you wonder why it hasn’t happened sooner or how you ever lived without it. This is how we feel about our just-launched integration between Easy Agile User Story Maps and Easy Agile Personas.

Central to successful user story mapping are the questions:

  1. Why are we building this?
  2. Who are we building this for?
  3. What value will the solution provide for the customer and when?

The answer to all of these questions and the raison d'être for a user story map in the first place is the user or customer.

User story mapping is the visual representation of the journey a customer takes with a product - helping you and your team to focus on what provides the most value to your customers and their desired outcomes.

A user persona or customer persona is the embodiment of the characteristics and behaviours belonging to your most valuable customers. It helps everyone in your team have a shared understanding of who your customer is in order to empathise with them and have them front of mind when working on ways to improve the product.

5 ways adding Personas takes your User Story Map to the next level

So what's the result of bringing these two powerful agile tools and practices together (apart from the latest version of Easy Agile User Story Maps and Easy Agile Personas)?

Without going into the benefit of user story mapping or creating user personas as separate practices, here are five key benefits you’ll gain from adding your user Personas to your User Story Map.

1. Add the most important context to your User Story Map - your user

How many times can you honestly say you’ve written or worked on a user story without really knowing who that user is? Could you confidently share their interests, motivations, communication styles? Could your teammates?

We know companies like yours want to be more focused on their customers, and the truth is you can’t afford not to. According to a Walker study, customer experience will overtake price and product as the brand differentiator by the end of 2020.

We also know it’s easier to work on the things we like to work on, or what’s next on the to-do list, or the problems we identify as important - but are these the things that are most important to your most valuable customers?

The integration between Easy Agile Personas and Easy Agile User Story Maps adds the most important context to your User Story Map - your user - helping your team keep them front of mind.

Easy Agile Personas allows you to link stories on your backlog to Persona profiles in the Jira issue view, using the Persona and Persona Importance fields. In the latest version of Easy Agile User Story maps, we’ve exposed these fields in the issue view modal. This means that no user story will be left behind because you can now connect it with a user right there on the issue in your Story Map.

Moving image showing the custom field that allows a user to add a Persona and Importance to Persona to the issue view in Jira

NB: The Persona and Persona Importance custom fields must be on the screen used by your Project before they will appear in the issue view in Easy Agile User Story Maps. Not sure how? Read this doc which explains how to do this.

2. Prioritise the work that delivers better value to your customers

In addition to the Persona custom field on the issue view, you can also set Persona Importance for your Issue. This enables your team to focus on what provides the most value to your customers and their desired outcomes and prioritise work accordingly. Focussing your team on work that delivers better value to your customers starts by determining what that work is in practical and tangible terms i.e. your issues in Jira.

3. Gain a holistic view of the journey for each Persona

So now that you’re able to add the context of your customer and how important your work is to them, we thought it was also important to be able to filter your story map by Persona and Importance to Persona with a native filter. Prior to this, the only way to filter the Story Map by Persona was to manually create a quick filter outside of the Story Map, for each of your Personas.

By filtering your board by Persona, your team has a holistic view of the customer journey and can quickly and easily see which developments in the upcoming Sprint/Release directly impacts and serves each of your Personas.

4. Better visibility to easily align your team's output with customer outcomes

Together with the custom fields on your issue and native Persona filter, the ability to filter your board by Importance to Persona allows for better visibility and enables greater and more effective collaboration between teams. Not only does this make it easier to ensure that high importance, low effort stories are being prioritised, but also unleashes your team’s capability to run truly customer-focused story mapping sessions.

5. Seamless planning sessions with less interruptions

With Easy Agile Personas and Easy Agile User Story Maps, not only do you not need to leave Jira to create your Personas or map out your User Story, but with this integration you don’t even need to leave your Story Map to assign issues to Personas and Persona Importance. We’ve worked hard to have Easy Agile Personas and Easy Agile User Story Maps work better together - so your team can too.

Ready to add Easy Agile Personas to your Story Map?

Not yet a User Story Map customer? You can try that for free too.

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