Stories on Board Twitter Icon Often, it is hard to see the big-picture, in terms of projects and/or products. It is the whole can’t see the forest for the trees argument. If you get bogged down in all of the minuscule details, you miss the big picture. Though you could make an argument in favor of grinding out, and staying focused on the details, it is certainly a plus to be able to step back every once in awhile. We had the chance to speak to a new company that is embracing the big picture. StoriesOnBoard is a new tool that allows you to break down the final goal into smaller, tangible pieces. At the same time, it allows you to zoom-out, and take a look at the whole picture. We had a chance to ask the team a few questions about the new platform:


What is StoriesOnBoard?

StoriesOnBoard is a tool where you can break down your ambitious goals into tangible pieces. Then you can create a roadmap for reaching your goals by identifying the tasks that move toward them the most. By creating a story map you’ll be able to see the big picture any time, thus instead of losing in tiny details you can focus on your goals for reaching them in a timely fashion. You can share you story maps with your remote team members and your clients so you’ll be able to work with them online. We took special care to create a service that you’ll enjoy using in your everyday work. Try it for yourself, it’s free! Your feedback is highly appreciated and will help us making our service to better fit your needs.

Why build this platform? What is the problem that StoriesOnBoard addresses?

With StoriesOnBoard product development teams can break down their work to manageable tasks while still having the big picture in front of them. They are able to focus on what’s important , cut out the less important and ultimately they can deliver the right product without breaking the deadlines.

Tell us your founding story. Was there an “ah ha” moment?

We created StoriesOnBoard because we love user story mapping and we are extensively using it in our projects. By always making visible the entire scope it forces us to think global. It prevent us from loosing in unimportant details. I mean, how many times did you realize that someone in your team or your customer just stuck in finding the perfect solution to a … not so important problem. How many wasted hours, or even days… While there are many other tasks that are more important by far. That’s where the visualization of a story map can help a lot. But we had a huge problem: the amount of space needed. Simply we didn’t have enough board and wall space at our office. Even when we tried to make bigger maps for real life projects, we faced another problem: rigidity. It may sound strange for an agile practice like user story mapping, so let me explain. From week to week as we were discovering the domain we found new tasks (user tasks as Jeff Patton calls them in his incredible article). Then: How do you insert a new task in the middle of the map? Shift all the others with all their subtasks. That didn’t work for us. We just found out that ideas were dropped (or merged) just because we thought they didn’t worth the effort of rearranging the board. So we tried it with MS Excel and Google Spreadsheet. For some time it worked, but we needed more. We tried some online tools. For some time it worked, but you know… we wanted something else. That’s why StoriesOnBoard was born.

Tell us about your founding team and their backgrounds.

Sándor Szabó, senior software developer in .Net and HTML5/Javascript Árpád Tamás, senior business analyst, developer, agile evangelist