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19 June 2012

Building a Better Death Star

Today I facilitated a workshop at the BA World conference in Melbourne. People seemed to enjoy themselves despite it being the post-lunch session. (Thanks to Andrea for helping me facilitate the session.)

The activity we worked on was "Story Mapping" which has been popularised by Jeff Patton. Story mapping as a technique has strong similarities to creating work breakdown structures, but with some added emphasis on customers and personas.

There is way too much in the concept of good WBS design, and in managing user stories and backlogs than you can fit into an hour, so I focussed on two simple messages;

  • Story maps (and WBS and PBS) are an exercise in categorising and partitioning the work to be done. 
  • Collaborative planning - with post it notes - is a fantastic approach to planning work 
And to top it off I built the exercise around planning a new Death Star. I'll be repeating this next week in Sydney at the next BA World session, and again later in the year at Melbourne's LASTConference in July.  

The Prezi I supported this workshop with is below.