Issues with Story Maps (Story Maps part 2)

Click here for Part 1: Stories & Story Maps

There are two challenges with story maps that we seem to continually face:

1. Physicality: Story maps work best when you have a lot of physical space to lay them out. E.g. on a big wall, or a large floor. The challenge is that for a project of any reasonable size there is no good tool available to digitally represent Story Maps. The project manager’s ‘Swiss Army knife’ of the spreadsheet is always available, but a tool tailored to the purpose of producing Story Maps would be a great asset. There is also Prezi (, which allows massive presentations to be viewed and navigated.

2. Beyond the Inception phase: In a sense this is allied to the first challenge, that while producing a plan of iterations and releases at the Inception stage is a great utility to have at our disposal the ongoing story backlog then needs to be managed.

JIRA and Greenhopper ( are great tools to manage Sprints in an Agile way, but if there were a tool that could directly use the initial Story Maps, or manage a Story Map as a backlog then that would be even better, and more efficient. There is the possibility that SpecLog ( may be able to fill this niche, or do you know of some other tool that could be used?

In part 3 we revisit stories and story maps, and report back on a new tool we saw at a conference and compare it against our spreadsheet for managing the story backlog.

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  • Florian says:

    Hi Mike,
    good summary about story maps!
    Have a look at this JIRA Story Map plugin:
    There is a simple live demo, too – I am curious, what do you think about..


  • Gareth Joice says:

    Blueprint is a toll that looks a stronger match for the analytical artifacts from Requirements to Stories to Use Cases all linkable with IM-type user collaboration features. It looks incredibly user firendly with integration to JIRA and QC. Unfortunately my project is too far advanced to use it here at Barclays.

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