All Epics, Stories, Ideas, Issues, 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 (tree is shown as cards top-down) or in the Outline view (tree is shown as an indented list tree).
The Storymap consists of four 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 – Collections of input from customers or product/service users in the form of Ideas or Issues.
- Functional (What) – Collections of solutions or functionality for the product or service the Circle is serving.
- Objectives (Why) – Collections of quantifiable goals and risks pertaining to the on going work in the Circle.
- Stakeholders (Who) – Representations of the beneficiaries of the initiative of the Circle in form of personas.
- Timeline (When) – Representations of time-related constraints such deadlines and milestones.
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 issues, that are partly overlapping. Or they may come up with similar ideas explained from different user perspectives.
These can be organized directly below the Feedback Folder or by creating more specific grouping Folders. One Folder grouping could include issues from a specific customer or ideas from a user event. Or Ideas could be grouped depending on the type of idea addressed.
Issues and Ideas in the Feedback Folder 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 or Sprint.
An Inbox Folder is also available under this Folder, where randomly placed Epics and Stories can exist, including those created anywhere else outside of the Storymap view. 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.
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 user story of the Epic into smaller stories. Once all the Stories below an Epic are executed to completion, the Epic will automatically be set to Done as well.
The Stories in the “Functional” section are typically more concrete and “worked through” than the Ideas in the “Feedback” section. In an organized way, they answer the “what” question of the ongoing initiative, whether it be a product or service. As mentioned above, Stories and Epics may implement Issues and Ideas from the “Feedback” section. Simply put this means that the functionality or solution an Epic or Story is describing 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 created to the respective Epics or Stories. See here for more on Dependency Relations.
As the name of this Folder suggests, its main 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 in this Folder.
Stories can then be linked to Objectives in a bid to show that they contribute to those Objectives, in what is referred to as a contributes relation. Similarly, stories can be linked to Risks in a bid to show that
they mitigate those Risks, in what is referred to as a mitigates relation. With the relation, information such as the contribution or mitigation percentage can be defined. In such cases where contributes and mitigates relations exist, there are functions that 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.
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 then create Interest Relations from this User Persona to Epics or Stories.
This makes it easy to keep track of the Stories, which e.g. a customer has an interest in.