Feature Mapping

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This Feature Mapping tool is an efficient way of identifying features that the users are searching for. In a feature mapping exercise session, a team tries to understand how features should behave by breaking these examples down step by step. This list is intended to help teams identify edge cases, eliminate assumptions and detect uncertainty. The whole process helps build a common understanding of business objectives and these examples illustrate business rules.

What happens during a feature mapping workshop?

1. Collect the examples of features that the users are requesting

To start, send out a survey to customers and stakeholders, asking them to give examples of features they would like. The aim is not to capture everything that will be asked for, but just enough information so that you can begin the discussion of what should be included in this feature.

2. Write down all of your ideas on an issue card straight away!

There is no need to analyze the examples before you begin your discussion – just write them down! This will come later following initial business rules.

3. Go through each example and break it down

The team should work together to define what functionality is needed to solve each problem expressed in one of the examples. After deciding on a solution, write all of the details on an issue card so that they are easily visible to the whole group. It is important not to assume anything at this stage - write everything down!

4. Discuss how this feature fits with other features

After sharing out each issued card, ask questions like "What other features does this impact?" or "How might we use it?". This helps teams identify dependencies between different parts of the system which will influence the order in which things are built on the basis of higher quality acceptance criteria.

5. Prioritize it all

Once you have a complete list of features of initial acceptance criteria, go through each one and ask "What is the order for building them?" or "How important is this feature to our customers?". Use a scoring system to rank features from 1-10 (with 10 being the most important). The aim is not to come up with an exact list that can be implemented exactly at once, but rather to get a feel for what should be done first and second, etc. If everyone agrees on a single prioritization scheme you can use that, otherwise use something like Moscow*. This step helps your team understand which functionality will have the biggest impact when deliverable, business rules explain examples mapping conventions and automated acceptance tests. Feature mapping process for the same business rule representing negative scenarios note.

6. Ensure that you can build it!

Try to identify any parts of this system that cannot be built or areas where the team is not confident of building quickly. If there are blockers, decide how they can be overcome (for example by hiring more people, improving your process, or changing your product).

7. Decide on a name for this feature and write down what will happen!

A common problem for new features is deciding what they should be called. Try to give each feature a simple descriptive name so that it is easy to reference throughout the project. Once you have finished discussing, summarize all of the information about your feature in a clear description using bullet points. Make sure everyone is clear about what will happen when the feature is completed!

Trying to identify features that your users are searching for?

Look no further, because Geolance has the perfect solution for you. Our Feature Mapping tool is an efficient way of identifying features that the users are searching for. In a feature mapping session, a team tries to understand how features should behave by breaking these examples down step by step. This list is intended to help teams identify edge cases, eliminate assumptions and detect uncertainty. The whole process helps build a common understanding of business objectives.

Stop wasting time and money trying to figure out what your users want – let Geolance do it for you! With our Feature Mapping tool, you can easily identify the features your users are looking for and make sure they’re happy with your product. Sign up today and see the difference we can make for your business.

What steps should the whole team be involved with?

1. Collecting features

Every member of your team should be able to send out the survey, collect the examples, and chat to customers about what they would like!

2. Discussing features - especially pairing up on cards!

Everyone needs to participate in discussions about how these features work. Try pairing up people who do not normally pair up at work (for example developers with project managers) so that they can learn from each other. This step helps ensure that cross-functional teams understand requirements since employees communicate across different functions within your company.

3. Prioritizing features by giving them scores out of 10 - ideally using a scoring system

It is important to make sure everyone's voice is heard about the importance of different features. Everyone works differently, so using a scoring system helps even out biases and lets all team members contribute their prioritization.

4. Writing down what happens for each feature

Remember that this is not an exact plan but rather it should be easy for everyone to understand what will happen when the feature is finished. Do not assume anything!

5. Ensuring you can build it!

Try to identify any parts of this system that cannot be built or areas where the team does not feel confident in building quickly so that they can be addressed proactively. If there are blockers, decide how they can be overcome (for example by hiring more people, improving your process, or changing your product).

Introduce feature mapping - it shows the process that you would go through to build this feature.

Feature mapping is a simple technique where common requirements are mapped out on cards with tasks listed, ideally using a scoring system. It can be used by anyone in your team to generate ideas, plan out features or prioritize new work - it allows even non-technical people to participate fully! If you have an existing product with all sorts of new features being added there may be so many cards on the board that it becomes difficult for everyone to know what will happen next. Without some consolidation and prioritization the project could end up bloated with too much work or some important things might get missed altogether! Feature mapping helps identify any areas where more input from customers would improve the project as well as areas where the team is confident they can build quickly.

Visualization Technique for Constructing & Understanding SAFe Program Backlogs

Feature mapping is a simple technique where common requirements are mapped out on cards with tasks listed, ideally using a scoring system. It can be used by anyone in your team to generate ideas, plan out features or prioritize new work - it allows even non-technical people to participate fully! If you have an existing product with all sorts of new features being added there may be so many cards on the board that it becomes difficult for everyone to know what will happen next. Without some consolidation and prioritization the project could end up bloated with too much work or some important things might get missed altogether! Feature mapping helps identify any areas where more input from customers would improve the project as well as areas where the team is confident they can build quickly.

Introduce feature mapping - it shows the process that you would go through to build this feature.

Feature mapping is a simple technique where common requirements are mapped out on cards with tasks listed, ideally using a scoring system. It can be used by anyone in your team to generate ideas, plan out features or prioritize new work - it allows even non-technical people to participate fully! If you have an existing product with all sorts of new features being added there may be so many cards on the board that it becomes difficult for everyone to know what will happen next. Without some consolidation and prioritization the project could end up bloated with too much work or some important things might get missed altogether! Feature mapping helps identify any areas where more input from customers would improve the project as well as areas where the team is confident they can build quickly.

When should you do Feature Mapping?

Feature mapping can be done at any time - there is no right or wrong time to do it. It is best for the team to make feature decisions together whenever possible and we recommend you do this as close to when a user story is estimated and added to your backlog (or 'done' column) as possible to ensure accurate estimates and the broadest customer feedback, but any other time is fine too!

It may take some people by surprise that non-technical people are asked to contribute during this process - customers already know what they need so why bother? The answer comes down to understanding how much work something will be. Customers know roughly what they want but only a small number of them have the technical understanding to appreciate how complex it will be to work with. This can be a problem if they ask for something that is beyond the current feature set and the team needs to prioritize it against other business goals; you want to know how much closer your customers feel the completed backlog items bring them towards their goal, rather than trying to guess what is most important to them based on word-of-mouth feedback (which may not represent the majority of customer perspectives).

The more detail you go into with planning out features, setting clear targets, and having deadlines for each card, the better estimation should become!

To explain why this is useful let's imagine there are two items in your backlog - one user story will take 3 days to complete once development has started after estimating it using t-shirt sizing. The other will take 2 weeks to develop and will need all of the design and back-end resources to be completed before starting development. Which one is more important?

Having a clear, simple workflow that everyone can see and understand goes a long way. You want your team discussing what might happen next, not who has the ball!

What is Feature Mapping?

The feature map is used as a tool for communication between customers, developers, and the project owner by proposing solutions to customer problems. This makes it easier for everyone involved in the project to know where they are up to and what comes next without having too many discussions about the process - this would slow down productivity rather than increase it!

It works by listing out each user story in the project, then mapping out everything that needs to be completed before it can be handed over to the customer.

Each user story is mapped out in a list of tasks, ideally using t-shirt sizes (S M L) for size estimation - this gives you an idea of how long each task will take and how much work is involved. Not only does this help your understanding of what comes next but it also ensures everyone can understand where they are at!

Step 1: List out all user stories in the current backlog

Note down all existing user stories in whatever format has already been decided upon by the team. Use whatever method you feel most comfortable with or keep them all in one column if your team works well together! No matter where the information is stored it needs to be made visible to all members of the team.

Once you have a list of user stories in your backlog start with the least important and smallest in scope and add in everything that is required for it to be done:

The mapping process contains two main steps: making sure you understand what must happen before a task can begin and explaining exactly how long it will take. These are listed in separate columns so we can sort them at any time when looking at prioritization - this takes away subjectivity from the feature map!

It's also useful to include whether each task requires additional people or not, where appropriate, as this will affect estimation accuracy. This doesn't need to be detailed out for every single item but it helps to have a general idea of how much work each person is involved with at any given time.

Step 2: Mapping out everything that must happen before the user story can be started

Now you need to sort all of your tasks into sections that are sorted in order. This ensures everyone looking at the map knows exactly what needs to happen next or if anything has been omitted!

It's important to mark down when you think something should begin - this gives you an idea of where your capacity is being used up and how much work is left over for the future. If you find yourself making the same mistakes again and again then try to identify why this is happening so can make sure it doesn't occur next time!

Using t-shirt sizes is simple - you just need to have an idea of how long it will take. The main thing about estimating using t-shirts though is that it helps to remove some subjectivity from the mapping process.

If you find your team isn't agreeing on what comes next or there are too many omissions then it's important to use this as a learning opportunity! Everyone involved needs to understand why their estimates were wrong and how they can make them more accurate, with help from others in the future if necessary.

This is all that needs to be completed before the user story can be started by development teams - tasks like testing, design work, or deployments still need to be done after this point but they aren't listed here! As said earlier it's also useful to include here if any tasks require additional people or not. If someone is involved in the project but isn't part of your team then you could add them as a reviewer instead - this keeps everyone informed about what work needs doing without having to list every single person that has worked on the product!

Step 3: Mapping out all tasks required for each user story

As said earlier this can be used when prioritizing features so everyone knows what should come next and by how much. It also helps to identify time-wasting activities early on, where possible, so these can be removed before they start!

One thing to remember when using the feature map is that it will never account for everything in your backlog - there will always be more to do than you have the capacity for. This is why it's useful to make a list of maintenance tasks as well as user stories if they contain any new functionality - the feature map should still work fine even if some backlog items are a low priority!

It's also worth noting that this is not singly linked: one task cannot be further broken down without splitting results from other tasks on a different level. For example, a task might tell us that we need a new database table but doesn't give us enough information to create it, so another mapping session will help answer those questions and split up the work accordingly.

Whenever new items are added into the backlog after the initial planning process then there should be another iteration of mapping before starting work on them. This is why it's important to keep everyone involved with the project regularly updated when following Agile principles!

At this point you will probably want to add some additional notes onto your feature map so you and your team can easily tell what each item is for and how they fit together:

It can be helpful to include any information about a user story that might not be obvious from the name, so I've added some extra details in my example here:

When working collaboratively on a feature map via a shared document such as Google Docs then certain things need to happen for everyone to see changes made by others…

Internal naming conventions should be used whenever possible during mapping sessions - I normally include a coding-style version of the user story name in brackets so it's easy to match these up later.

Once features have been created on a shared document then they will need to be 'Agino'ed before being approved by everyone involved with creating them. This is just an Agile term that means that any changes made are checked over by others to make sure everything looks right - similar to peer review, but just for work that has already been done!

The reason why this is needed comes back down to removing subjectivity from mapping sessions again: it's very easy for one person to misunderstand what another has said if there isn't any written evidence of what was decided. Without checking through each feature before starting work on them some could be missed entirely or completed incorrectly!

After one or two rounds of extra mapping sessions, it's now possible to start working on the features listed in the backlog. The team should have a pretty good idea about everything that needs doing by this point so can prioritize work accordingly and create sprint plans for individual user stories.

There may still be some back-and-forth between teams if they are unsure about what is needed for certain parts of your product, but that's just part of working collaboratively using Agile principles…

The best thing about using an Agile approach to implement new features is how simple it makes prioritizing. Because each user story will only take 1/4th the time of other items in your backlog then you can plan them out much more easily and get them done quicker!

This is why working collaboratively with your development team to create a feature map before starting work makes it so much easier to plan projects properly - planning isn't just about assigning resources anymore… By involving everyone in the entire process then the whole team should know exactly what will be involved in creating each feature, making it much easier to prioritize accordingly.

This way everyone should have a better understanding of how their part contributes to the final project, which should lead to fewer problems further down the line when implementing new features! 

Conclusion

Mapping sessions should be used whenever a backlog of items is created for a project because they help everyone get on the same page before starting work.

Including all members from Product Owners to Developers in these sessions will give all information needed to start planning features properly and prioritize accordingly. This makes it much easier to estimate how long each feature will take and plan sprints accordingly once mapping sessions have been completed.

Creating a shared document for your team to map on can ensure that no important details are lost during multiple iterations of the mapping session while allowing product owners the ability to add any extra notes they might need… Internal naming conventions should always be used when doing this as well, as it helps match up what was said with what was written down later on.

Once features have been mapped out, they can be prioritized based on the time it will take to create them and planned accordingly with sprints of work. This makes it much easier for everyone involved to know exactly what is needed for each part of a project before starting any work!

Using agile principles like this is key when trying to build complex software because there are so many potential problems that could be caused if stakeholders aren't kept in the loop at every stage of development… Working collaboratively ensures that nothing slips through the cracks or causes confusion about what should be done.

Using an Agile approach from start to finish ensures that everyone knows exactly what's going on throughout a project while making sure that everything gets completed to the highest standard.

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