Flow Mapping: Visualizing User Stories Against Complex Interactions
May 2016 • Presentation
Flow mapping enhances decision points and events by appending a layer of user stories and user interactions on a flowchart or process diagram of the journey.
Software Engineering Institute
This presentation was created for a conference series or symposium and does not necessarily reflect the positions and views of the Software Engineering Institute.
A single user journey through a complex system can have multiple layers of interaction through the back and front of a web, or software, application. Architects, developers, and business people all need to have a shared understanding of a feature or service. How can we keep all the myriad stories, features, and enhancements in mind when creating code-based events but not get lost in the details?
That's where flow mapping comes in. Flow mapping is similar to its big sister, story mapping. Both are methods to visualize work items from your Agile product backlog, but flow mapping occurs at a much more granular level. Usually limited to a single action and role through a system, it enhances the decision points and events shown by appending a layer of user stories and user interactions on a flowchart or process diagram of the journey. This flow map gives an overview of what is needed to create a robust process that minimizes risk through identification of high-failure areas, and it links the backlog to the events on the map, providing a clear overview of development tasks without compromising speed and agility.