Getting your Product Started

A layered story map

Writing Feature & Story placeholders

Think about the key features, functionality, or milestones of your idea or product. You don’t need to go into the details yet, but capture everything you know you’ll need to do. For my link shortener idea, registration and login are core to the product functionality. So I have a Feature for stories and tasks related to login: login feature place holder

A feature of, you can login

And then I write tasks and stories that support the feature. For example, I can connect to Facebook and register a new account on I only want to allow validated Facebook users an account to keep spam abuse down, here’s my placeholder story: user story

A story related to logging in, I can use my Facebook profile to connect and login

Putting it all together

As I write placeholder features and stories, I start to see what needs to be done first and why. Sometimes I want to start part of a feature, but not completely finish it before going onto the next. Plan how your offering will evolve and capture the plan in your story map. In the video below, I identify what stories are needed for the alpha offering, beta offering, and then finally – what’s the minimum viable product I want to release for 1.0. We’ll talk more about the minimum viable product and minimum marketable product later, right now we just want to define the MVP.

Next time I’ll talk more about writing feature and story requirements as well as scoring them to understand the opportunity cost. In the mean time, if this article was helpful or if you have questions, drop me a message below or like.

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