All Epics, Stories, Ideas, Issues, Feedback, Collections, Milestones etc. regardless of where created within an Agemba Circle will end up placed somewhere in the Storymap Tree. You can view and maintain the Storymap Tree in the Storymap view (the tree is shown as cards top-down) or in the Outline view (the tree is here shown as an indented list tree).
The Storymap consists of a number of main categories from which Epics, Stories, Ideas, Issues, Objectives, Risks and the different Milestone types can be created and organized respectively. These categories, also called Folders are:
- Feedback – All feedback received from external clients, automatically categorized by month.
- Issues and Ideas – Input from users in the form of either issues that need to be solved or ideas for improvements. Can be categorized in folders.
- Collections – Generic, multi-purpose containers that can contain an ordered list of stories or other items.
- Functional (What) – Stories and epics describing the solutions or functionality for the product or service the Circle is serving. Can be categorized in folders.
- Objectives (Why) – Quantifiable goals and risks pertaining to the ongoing work in the Circle.
- Stakeholders (Who) – Representations of the beneficiaries of the initiative of the Circle in the form of personas.
- Timeline (When) – Representations of time-related constraints such as deadlines and milestones.
Feedback is (if enabled) where all feedback submitted by external clients ends up. All feedback is automatically sorted in folders for the month it is submitted and cannot be ordered or moved (unlike stories).
Feedback is primarily handled from the Feedback view.
Issues and Ideas
Includes Ideas and Issues created independently or grouped in Folders and an Inbox where Ideas and Issues will land when created elsewhere or delegated to this Circle. Simple Notes can also exist here.
Ideas and Issues are often based on direct input from users. More users may have reported partly overlapping issues. Or they may come up with similar ideas explained from different user perspectives.
These can be organized by creating more specific folders for grouping. One folder could include issues pertaining to a certain sub-product or ideas from a user event. Or Ideas could be grouped depending on the type of idea addressed. The way issues and ideas are structured in folders is entirely customizable.
Issues and Ideas will often be implemented by stories in the Functional (What) folder. See description of an Implemented Relation. They can also be planned directly to a Release, Sprint or Kanban.
All new Stories and Epics that are not explicitly created beneath an epic or folder, will be placed in the inbox. This includes those created anywhere else outside of the Storymap view from the main menu. It is also where delegated Epics and Stories will end up as they await to be placed in the right places.
Folders may contain one or more Epics or Stories, while Epics may contain other Epics or Stories. Stories are the leaves of the tree and cannot be broken further down (except into executable tasks).
Epics are similar to Stories and therefore also have a user story text. If a user story is too big (in effort time) for a Sprint, you should create an Epic to represent that user story. Below the Epic you can detail the Epic user story into smaller stories. Once all the Stories below an Epic are executed to completion, the Epic can also be set to Done.
The epics are the parents with the high-level user stories, and the stories are the children with the smaller (in effort time) user stories.
The Stories in the “Functional” section are typically more concrete and “worked through” than Ideas. In an organized way, they answer the “what” question of the ongoing initiative, whether it be a product or a service. As mentioned above, Stories and Epics may implement Issues and Ideas. Simply put this means that the functionality or solution an Epic or Story describes takes care of one or more Ideas or Issues.
When describing solutions or functionality in the form of user stories, more often than not, one ends up identifying some form of dependency between them. Meaning that one cannot be completed without the other. Precondition Epics or Stories can be used to specify such solutions or functionality and then dependency relations can be created to the respective Epics or Stories. See here for more on Dependency Relations.
Epics vs. Stories
If a user story is too large to be completed in one sprint it should be created as an epic. The epic card can then have several story card children. In general, the child stories should cover the requirements of the parent epics.
It is not always evident in the initial planning whether an epic or a story should be created. You can later on convert a story to an epic and vise versa. There are some limitations, though. For instance, you cannot convert an epic to a story if it has children. And you cannot convert a story to an epic if the story is already placed in a sprint (because epics cannot be placed in a sprint).
As the name suggests, its primary purpose is to provide an abstraction for identified, quantifiable goals in the Circle. These are called Objectives.
Objectives are meant to answer the question “Why?” i.e., what values or business objectives do you want to harvest?
Any identified Risks can also be included here.
Stories can then be linked to Objectives to show that they contribute to those Objectives, in what is referred to as a contributes relations. Similarly, stories can be linked to Risks to show that they mitigate those Risks, in what is referred to as a mitigates relation. Information such as the contribution or mitigation percentage can be defined with the relation. In such cases, where contributes and mitigates relations exist, some functions are in place to guide you as the user to make more informed decisions such as the value estimates on stories. Therefore for all the stories that have these relations, there will be a “Show Impacts” button next to the value estimate field, which should load up a preview of all the Objectives and Risks, etc. with information on contribution/mitigation value derived from the percentage set as part of the relation.
This folder includes User Personas representing the stakeholders in the initiative of the Circle, whether it is a product or service.
You can create a User Persona to represent a customer, an internal group or any other person or group. You can create Interest Relations from this User Persona to Epics or Stories.
This makes it easy to track which Stories a customer is interested in.