It’s a “game changer!” — Easy Agile Usar Story Maps 6.0
Easy Agile User Story Maps has evolved so much over the last 3 years, thanks in large part to our customers and their feedback. They continue to teach us about their use cases, shedding light on ways we did not initially conceive our story mapping app could or would be used for. From user story mapping, to backlog grooming, running retrospectives and sprint/version planning, the simplistic visualisation and matrix-like heuristics make for a flexible tool that our users have been able to adapt to numerous ways of working.
In the spirit of those learnings, we’ve continually introduced ways to make those common use cases easier for teams, so that they spend their time focusing on delivering value to their customers. With that said, we’re excited to announce the launch of Easy Agile User Story Maps 6.0!
Introducing Easy Agile User Story Maps 6.0
"Building a user story map helps us focus on the big picture — the product as a whole instead of getting myopically focused on an individual story” — Jeff Patton, The New User Story Backlog is a Map
Up until now, it was difficult for our customers to use Easy Agile User Story Maps to paint a holistic picture of the journey of their projects/products over time. Previously, we only showed our customers their active or future work on the story map; there was no way for them to view what work had been done in the past. As Jeff Patton said, user story maps help us to understand the product as a whole, and a large part of understanding where our product is heading, is understanding what we have implemented in the past.
Our customers echoed this sentiment in their feedback to us:
"We need a story map to understand: what we have done, what we are doing and what we are going to do" — Alex
"We currently unable to see completed (done/ready for release) user stories from our past sprints. A story map MUST have all stories associated with it, not just the incomplete ones" — Bharat
Show Completed Sprints/Released Versions on the Story Map
This has been our most requested feature for Easy Agile User Story Maps to date! We’re thrilled to say that we now support viewing completed sprints and released versions on the story map.
Our customers have told us that having the ability to view completed sprints and released versions will help them:
- provide visibility to an entire project/product
- use the story map for reporting
- create strategic long-term plans which require a firm grasp on previous efforts
- write release notes
- adhere to regulatory compliance
- assure quality
- identfy ‘carry over’ from sprint to sprint/version to version
Sprint Planning and Retrospectives Made Easy
We learnt early last year, that one of the most common ways our customers use Easy Agile User Story Maps is for their weekly sprint planning and retrospectives (read ‘Bringing back issues without epics’ blog post to learn more).
We also use Easy Agile User Story Maps to run our own retrospectives and sprint planning sessions here at Easy Agile (nothing tastes better than your own dog food!). Having felt the pain of navigating to and from the story map to take care of standard sprint admin, we knew we could make this process more seamless with Jira for our customers.
Start/Complete your Sprints from the Story Map
In this release, we’re doing just that! With Easy Agile User Story Maps 6.0, there is no need to leave the story map to either start or complete a sprint! We’re alleviating the pain of having to jump between the Backlog to start a sprint and the ‘Active Sprints’ page to compete a sprint, allowing you to take care of all your sprint admin straight from the place you’re planning your work!
More Powerful Backlog Grooming/Refinement
At the conclusion of a story mapping session, we don’t just pat ourselves on the back and call it a day. Our user story map becomes a living, breathing artefact that must be frequently updated as we continue to learn from our customers and respond to environmental changes. We don’t just set and forget a user story map at project inception. As part of this, we must refine our user stories, fleshing them out with important customer context, assigning them to releases and estimating them together as a team.
Introducing the New “Issue Preview Editor”
"I just noticed this morning that in the Story Map, if you click on an issue’s Jira code, it now opens a pop-up window containing some of the Issue details, instead of linking away to the Issue page. This is going to be yet another game changer! Nice work!" — Brenton
The new “Issue Preview Editor” makes story mapping and backlog grooming sessions quick and fluid, allowing users to access issue information without leaving the Story Map.
The new preview editor allows you to update an issue’s description, add or create new custom fields, assign versions or assignees and more!
This release would not have been possible without the feedback from our customers! We wanted to say a big thank you to Dmitry, Sebastien, Balki, Andrew, Kevin, Salesse, Martin, Daniel, Doug, Jan-Ove, Prathima, Jennifer, Jeff, Meera, Takuya, Björn, Jussi, Bharat, Norm, David, Ian, Tony, Bruce, Michael and Eric for their feedback and patience while we worked on this new release!
Thank you for all your support and encouragement as we work to continuously improve Easy Agile User Story Maps! We can’t succeed without your insight into your use cases and recommendations for improvement. Reach out directly via the (?) help link within the ‘…’ menu at the top right of the story map.