Key Lessons from “User Story Mapping “ for Product Managers

Rohit Verma
3 min readApr 28, 2023

“User Story Mapping” is a book written by Jeff Patton that presents an approach to creating a visual representation of a product’s features and user stories. This approach is useful for product managers who want to understand their users better, prioritize features, and communicate with their teams effectively.

Here are some key learnings from the book for product managers:

  1. Start with the big picture:
    User story mapping begins with a high-level view of the product and its users. It is essential to understand the overall goal of the product and the different user personas that will interact with it. This information helps in identifying the key features and user stories required to achieve that goal.
    For example, suppose you are a product manager for a food delivery app. In that case, you may start with understanding the different types of users that may use the app, such as busy professionals, students, or families. From there, you may identify the primary goal of the app, which is to provide a convenient and quick way to order food.
  2. Break down features into smaller user stories:
    Once you have a high-level view of the product, it’s time to break it down into smaller features and user stories. User stories describe the user’s goal and the value they will get from using a particular feature. Breaking down features into smaller user stories helps in prioritizing features and understanding how they fit together.
    Continuing with the food delivery app example, one of the features could be the ability to track the delivery of the food. Breaking this feature down into smaller user stories could include tracking the status of the order, estimated delivery time, and real-time updates on the delivery person’s location.
  3. Map out user stories visually:
    User story mapping involves creating a visual representation of the product and its features. This representation helps in understanding the relationships between features, identifying gaps in the product, and prioritizing features.
    For example, a user story map for the food delivery app could include the different user personas, the high-level goal of the app, and the different features that contribute to achieving that goal. Each feature can then be broken down into smaller user stories and organized in a logical order.
  4. Continuously refine the user story map:
    User story mapping is not a one-time activity; it is an iterative process that involves continuous refinement. As the product evolves, the user story map needs to be updated to reflect the changes.
    For example, if the food delivery app introduces a new feature for personalized recommendations based on the user’s order history, the user story map needs to be updated to include this feature.

In conclusion, “User Story Mapping” provides product managers with a practical approach to understanding their users, prioritizing features, and communicating with their teams. By following the key learnings outlined in the book, product managers can create a user story map that helps them stay focused on the product’s goals and deliver value to their users.

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Rohit Verma

Senior Product Manager @AngelOne, ex-@Flipkart, @Cleartrip @IIM Bangalore.