When a company is looking to produce an exceptional software release plan, the business leaders will need to understand their customers’ needs and consider user stories in order to be successful.
As such, story mapping processes will become a necessity for a winning product release plan. Below, company leaders will benefit from reading about the essential steps for developing the perfect software release plan and learning about story mapping.
What Is Story Mapping?
Story mapping is a process in which a developer can imagine user stories and better understand the needs of the consumers. Story mapping is a product management process where one can portray user stories visually.
The entire process allows one to arrange the user stories to better help software product developers step into the shoes of their customers. It allows visualizing how customers will interact with a product from the first time they lay their hands on it through the entire lifecycle of a software product.
This process lets a developer see which functionalities are key for meeting customers’ needs and which ones are extraneous and slow down the use of the product.
Story mapping also helps engage an entire product development team where coworkers communicate on how to best create the software tools. Story mapping uses a horizontal axis that chronologically depicts the user journey over time.
What Are the Key Steps for Story Mapping?
The key steps that story mapping includes are:
- Preparing all important documents
- Seeing the big picture and general vision of product development
- Conducting a meeting to get everybody on board
- Recording the user activities and user journey
- Outlining individual user stories
- Prioritizing user stories
In the first step, the IT team will need to document all technical paperwork and product requirements. After that, include user personas and choose a mapping tool. It may be necessary to create a team of key stakeholders in the product development phase.
For the second step, create a frame of what to discuss, including a vision of what the product will look like and the software product’s goals.
During the third step, the team will set up a meeting with a date and time as well as let everyone know what it will be about. Help everyone understand the importance of story mapping and what to gain from the meeting.
The fourth step is about summarizing the user experience journey while the fifth step is about breaking down the user activities into individual user stories.
The last step is to prioritize the features of the product and determine which user stories are crucial to product development.
How To Create a Successful Software Release Plan
When planning product release campaigns, there are specific steps one needs to take to ensure a successful software release plan. These steps are:
- Define the product scope or list of features
- Approximate the product scope
- Prioritize the tasks and work breakdown of the product scope
- Determine the dependencies between flows to boost efficiency
- Create a team that will bring a successful product to market
- Develop roles for each team member and determine when they’ll be involved with product development
- Determine the work schedule for both groups and individuals
- Perform risk analysis and the steps for minimizing risks
- Assess and prioritize each separate feature
- Develop a project schedule starting point and software release plan
These steps are the same one should follow whether their team is developing a software as a service (SaaS), model product, or some other software product.
There are four essential benefits a business will enjoy from following a release management process, according to The Motley Fool. These four benefits are:
- More fruitful software product releases
- Better quality software products
- Greater communication and coordination between IT team members
- Streamlined product development stages
After reading this guide, software product developers should have a great idea of how to produce the perfect software release plan and better understand how to conduct the story mapping process.
By following the steps above, company leaders and product developers will produce more successful merchandise and meet their customers’ needs. This will, in turn, bring greater revenue for the company and ensure greater success for everyone involved.