Creating a Story Map

One Story Map per Agile Board

Once installed, each Scrum and Kanban board in Jira can be viewed as a Story Map. To access the story map click the User Story Map button in the side panel of your Agile board, the logo looks like this:

Creating the Epic Backbone

Across the top of the board you will create a horizontal row of epics (if you already have Epics associated with your board, this will be pre-populated). Each epic represents an activity of the users flow through the product. This is often referred to as the 'backbone' of the story map. 

For example, a fictitious job film finder app may have several activities from 'Indicating Interest in a Movie' through to a user 'Managing Watchlists'. There will be an epic for each.

These epics can be dragged and dropped and the order of the epics will be reflected on the backlog using Jira ranking.

Flesh on the Backbone - Creating User Stories

From the backbone of epics we add user stories to support each activity. These are ordered by rank below each epic, for example:

To create a new story or add an existing issue, hover over the space beneath an epic and click the "Add new or existing issue" button. 

Clicking the "Add new" button will bring up the following 'Quick Create' option. 

Simply inline edit the story summary and hit enter to continue quickly creating stories beneath your chosen epic. 

If your project has additional Required Fields the standard "Create Issue" dialog will appear.

You can add "existing issues" or issues not linked with Epics in 2 ways

Clicking the add "existing issue" button will open the 'Backlog' Panel on the right side of the story map. 


You can simply click the blue 'Backlog' button in the top right hand corner of the story map to open the 'Backlog Panel'

You can search for existing issues not linked to an epic in this panel by keyword, issue key or quick filters and multi-select and drag and drop them onto the story map 

Ordering Stories

The stories within each can be reordered. This allows the team to order the stories in terms of importance or value to the user. 

To reorder a story within an epic drag and drop it into place. You'll see a blue drop zone to guide the placement.

Sequencing Issues

A key aspect of a story mapping session is sequencing work into upcoming sprints or versions, for example: this story map has been sequenced into sprints. 

Version and Sprint Swimlanes

You can switch the view on your story map to view 'Sprint Swimlanes' or 'Version Swimlanes'. You can drag and drop issues between sprints or versions.

Versions are ordered by their Release Date. Quick tip: some teams pick an arbitrary date, like the first of the month, to show their intent to release a new version in a given month.

As you drag and drop issues between sprints or versions the estimate statistics will be updated immediately, helping teams effectively plan upcoming sprints. Below you can see To Do work (blue), In Progress work (yellow) and Done work (green).

Removing Issues from the Story Map

To remove an issue from within an epic hover over the issue and you'll see an 'X' in the bottom left corner. Click the 'X' to remove the link between the issue and its parent epic and the sprint/version.