The central area contains your story map and a number of options in the header. This is where you can map user stories to user activities and prioritise stories, as well as assign slices to iterations and columns to top-level work items.
The map area consists of three separate areas:
- The header, which displays the name of your map and contains a toolbar.
- The story map itself. This is where you can position your cards in the map, assign slices to iterations and assign user activities to work items.
The header is displayed above the story map:
The header contains the following elements:
- Zoom level indication: The current zoom level is displayed as a percentage
- Zoom In (): Increases the zoom level by 5% (the maximum zoom level is 100%)
- Zoom Out (): Decreases the zoom level by 5% (minimum zoom level is 5%)
- Reset Zoom to 100% (): Resets the zoom level to 100%
- Zoom to fit Screen (): Sets the zoom level so that the map fits on the screen
- Download map as image (): Download the current map as an image (PNG)
- Filter cards (): Click on this icon to display the card filters:
Use the drop down lists to select which cards on the map to highlight. You can choose to highlight stories based on the user they are assigned to, the state of work item and tags. Filters can be combined with one another.
Cards that match the filter are displayed as normal; cards that do not match the filter are greyed out.
- Refresh map (): Refreshes the map to update any changes made in the meantime by other users.
- Help (): Displays a quick overview of the steps necessary to set up your story map.
The central area is mostly taken up by your story map.
Structure of a Story Map¶
A story map places user stories represented by card in a matrix. The X axis represents the user’s journey through the system over time, starting on the left and moving the the right. Each of the stations on the user’s journey are represented by user activities, which are displayed at the top of the map. The Y axis represents the priority, with stories higher up the map having a higher priority. Stories can be assigned to vertical slices, which represent iterations.
In SpecMap, user activities can be linked to work items in Azure DevOps/TFS, and slices can be linked to iteration paths. User stories are depicted using work items.
User activities are displayed at the top of the story map in the individual columns. Each user activity can be linked to a work item, see Adding User Activities. The following information is displayed for user activities:
- Click on the small arrow to collapse or expand the column.
- Name of the user activity (e.g. “Search for books”).
- If the user activity is linked to a work item, the link icon is displayed along with the ID and name of the work item. If the user activity is not linked to a work item, no information is displayed.
If you mouse over an activity, the menu icon (…) is displayed.
The following options are available:
- Open: Opens the user activity. This performs the same action as clicking on the name of the user activity.
- Add user activity left: Add a new user activity to the left.
- Merge right: Merges the user activity column with the one on the right. This option is only available if there is another column to the right of the current one.
- Delete: Deletes the user activity.
Slices allow you to group user stories vertically. You can assign a slice to an iteration path. The following information is displayed for slices:
- Click on the small arrow to collapse or expand the slice/row.
- The name of the slice (e.g. “27 Jan - 15 Feb”)
- If the slice is linked to an iteration path.
- Information on the user stories in the slice. The first number is the number of user stories in the slice, the second number represents the total effort entered for these stories.
User stories are represented by cards on the story map. Each user story is represented by a work item. The following information is displayed for user stories:
- Name and ID of the work item.
- The tags defined for the work item.
- The status of the work item.
- The estimated effort.
Cards in SpecMap represent user stories. Information on the associated work item is displayed on the card. This includes the icon defined for the work item type, any tags you have defined, the user assigned to the work item, the state and the estimated effort.
Cards on the map inherit their styling from the styles you have defined for work items in Azure DevOps/TFS.
Note: In Azure DevOps, styles are defined at the team level. Make sure that the team you have selected in SpecMap is the team you defined the style settings for in Azure DevOps!
Styling in SpecMap depends on the styling defined for the Product backlog. So make sure you have configured the styling for your product backlog items (Stories (for Agile), Issues (for Basic), Backlog items (for Scrum), or Requirements (for CMMI)) and for the correct team (the one selected in the Backlog Explorer in SpecMap). If the styling has been defined for the product backlog items and for the selected team, the cards are displayed with the matching style in SpecMap.
To access these settings:
- Open a Kanban board (Boards) in your project in Azure DevOps/TFS.
- Select the correct team if you are using Azure DevOps.
- Select the correct backlog level (Stories (for Agile), Issues (for Basic), Backlog items (for Scrum), or Requirements (for CMMI)), because styles in SpecMap are always taken from the configuration of the Product backlog.
- Click on the icon (top right).
- Click on Styles in the list on the left.
- Define style settings for your cards.
- The styles are now applied to cards in SpecMap: