Visual user story slicing - O’Reilly video course - my notes

Last updated Apr 19, 2023 Published Aug 9, 2022

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In an agile environment the way that stories get sliced are key to deliver value and increment the product the team is working on. As such the technique used to split the work and get a continuous flow is key. The story slicing focuses on the vertical slice that can give the most value to the end product as possible.

The vertical slice focuses on the end-to-end flow of a given feature at a given time. The vertical is opposed to the horizontal slicing which teams slice the feature into front-end, back-end, database etc.

How we break down work matters

  • concept to cash
    • the idea makes me money
    • doing as quick as possible (doing tings faster)
    • big idea and break it down
    • batching - big idea into smaller idea
      • large batches is waterfall
      • cant’t deploy until every last pice is done
    • find the route for reach user goal
  • maximixe learning by deliverying small valuable batches

Personas and goals

  • comprehenside requirements documents
    • brds, brds
    • not user centric
  • user stories
    • came from xp
    • user centric - better than requirements documents
  • personas
    • persona represents somthing that will be a role
    • persona x roles
    • Acklen does a product vision
      • canvas business board
    • ux/ui is used to personas
  • users value x business value
    • user pay for the system
    • user matches business value
    • business value increases revenue
    • business value avoid costs
  • users x customers
    • users use the system
    • customer pays for the system

User story mappings

  • benefits
    • visualize the requirements
    • make prioritization and identification of mvp
    • keep customer in focus
    • create share understanding
    • detail view for project delivery
  • story mapping is a batch (from the course author point of view - paypal example)
  • story mappings with personas
  • prioritizing personas
    • slice personas to prioritize

The idea of stories was credited to Kent Beck when eXtreme Programming came out, [1] also supports this idea.

Visual story slicing

  • story splitting
    • spidr
  • story slicing
    • make it shorter
    • phase 1 focus on the user and the goal
      • event mapping
      • talk from user perspective
      • don’t get to detail
      • focus on the end goal
    • phase 2 implementation details
      • detais
      • acceptance criteria
      • low fidelity mock ups
      • stub critical functionality


  1. [1]P. Rodríguez, M. Mäntylä, M. Oivo, L. E. Lwakatare, P. Seppänen, and P. Kuvaja, “Chapter Four - Advances in Using Agile and Lean Processes for Software Development,” vol. 113, A. M. Memon, Ed. Elsevier, 2019, pp. 135–224 [Online]. Available at: