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Lesson 2 – map out your product


Skore has been designed to help make discussions about your product easier, faster and more valuable. But more than that it’s about helping you and your team discover the right requirements. It does this by visualizing the space between your product vision and the low level user stories you actually implement.

So how does it work? Instead of laying out every user story on a whiteboard forget about the details to begin with and just focus on the epics. Think about the real big stories, the key stuff that helps you explain the product to other people. This is the elevator pitch, the high level of what it does and why, the 60 second description.

Using this high level view of the product you take each epic in turn and gradually break it down into more and more detailed sets of stories. Until you reach the point where the team are confident they have a shared understanding about what they will build.

Getting Started

1. Print out your product vision or write it on the wall, it needs to be clearly visible to all participants. You may be using Skore to help write your product vision, in which case make sure the information you already have is in view, customer segments, needs, key attributes, competitors, personas etc.

Tip

  • Try using the Business Model Canvas to help you define your vision, this will help you articulate the value proposition and identify customer segments.

 

2. Enter the key epics that describe your product in as few stories as possible. Here is an example of a high level product view, remember this forms part of the vision so should be short.

Ace_reporter_top_level

 

3. Before you go any further walk the product, read aloud what’s on the screen, make sure each step makes sense in the context of the vision, make sure everyone agrees and understands what each box means.

 

Add the Detail

4. Pick an epic so that you can start to explore the details. Move the mouse over one of your What boxes and click the Details button at the top left of the box.

You now have a new blank canvas with name of the epic as the title. You can also see Why boxes displayed on the two wings at each side of the canvas. These are the Why boxes that input from another story or the Why box for the current epic, they provide context for the work you will do on this level.

 

5. Next you begin to create more stories except this time the stories only describe the epic from above. Keep it simple, use as many What and Why boxes as you please but remember you can always create another level of detail.

This is about finding the right level of detail without missing anything. The easier it is to describe each level the more confident you can be that nothing has been left out. Create as many levels of detail as you need to get to a point where everyone understands what needs to be done.

When you’re finished you have a contextual model that links your product vision to the user stories that form your backlog. The model can be updated as the project progresses but now everyone in the team has a place to review the context of each user story as it enters development.

 

3 Things to Remember

  1. Make sure everyone is familiar with the product vision, stick it somewhere everyone can see it
  2. Every level should be short enough that you could describe it to someone else in the time it takes the elevator to reach the top floor
  3. Once each level is complete read it out aloud and ensure everyone agrees

 

next lesson “shortcuts”>>