2. I want the highest quality feedback! About User Story Mapping and MoSCoW
How to determine the functionality for the minimum viable product? This is always a big
question. It is necessary to find a balance between "minimal" and "useful", while not
forgetting about quality. We've chosen two tactics to make it easier for your MVP to select
User Story Mapping is a method that recreates the user's MVP "path" . Thanks to User Story
Mapping, you can track all the interaction options with the product, from the first launch
to the targeted action (for example, a purchase).
The technique consists of 5 steps:
- Define a goal . Answer the question "Why am I doing this?" The answer should be short,
no more than one sentence. For example, the goal of our wedding cake startup is to
create an online dessert shop with vegan dough, delicious toppings and fast contactless
- Think about the user route for your MVP . Where will he push? Which sections to open?
What are the steps to take? At this stage, it is important to put yourself in the user's
shoes and think over all possible scenarios. For example, to buy a cake in our
application, a user goes through 5 stages: viewing, providing an address and delivery
instructions, order management, payment and delivery.
- Write down the functions for each step. For example, in order to select a cake in the
application, you will need a catalog of wedding baked goods, with different creams and
sprinkles, as well as a search bar, a settings page and with best sellers (for those who
cannot decide), etc. You will need different payment options to pay: debit / credit
card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal. All this must be written down and thought over,
a lot may not be included in the first release, however, in subsequent versions of the
product, these options may be very useful.
- Arrange the functions in descending order from “ MVP cannot be released without this” to
“you can start like this”. The main ranking criteria are how much this or that feature
will help in achieving the target action. For example, for the same application with
cakes, the choice of "the same" table decoration will not be possible without a catalog
and a search bar. But the bestseller page can be added later.
- Collect MVP. The first version will include high-priority features - something without
which you definitely won't be able to bring the product to release.
User Story Mapping is not a panacea. An alternative is the MoSCoW prioritization method.
There is no reference to native (and non-rubber) Moscow here. This is an acronym for
prioritized functionality - anything that may (or may not) end up in your MVP anyway.
To separate the important from the “wanted”, you and your team agree on the selection
criteria - benefits for customers, complexity of implementation, cost of implementation. All
this is very important to find out on the shore.
Now let's go over the categories that MoSCoW offers us:
- Must-have is the most important category. This includes features, without which a
product release is simply impossible. Find out with the team: will the target user
action be performed if we do not add this feature? If the answer is no, feel free to
include it in the first release. For example, for our startup with cakes, it is
critically important to implement the "Order a cake at home" feature - otherwise why
bother with the choice of toppings?
- If, instead of a clear “yes,” something like “probably yes” pops up, then most likely
you have come to the Should-have category. This includes all the features that are
important and valuable as well, but the first release can happen without them. For a
cake startup, that feature would be filtering for desserts labeled "gluten-free."
- The Could-have category is also called "nice-to-have". Here we throw everything that “I
would like to do”, but due to lack of resources, you will not do this - moreover, you
can bring MVP to the market without these features. For example, it would be great to
add the ability to select priority delivery for cakes and get your order first. For us,
this could be an additional option for profit, but let's be honest - at the stage of
testing an idea, this is not so necessary.
- Will-not-have are absolutely not release-critical features. For example, customers of a
cake shop would be interested in adding ratings and comments to each type of filling,
such as “chocolate lovers will love this,” “the texture of the vanilla cream is super
velvety”. However, for now we do not need this and this idea can be put aside in the far
corner and focus on other categories.