Example Mapping

State of mind

The refinement of the US is done in "3 Amigos" mode with post-its to brainstorm on the questions and data examples

State of mind


When the team wants to deepen and structure its Sprint Refinement practice, Matt Wynne proposes a workshop to clarify a User Story (US) [Wynne 2015] [Moustier 2019] [Lambert 2018].

Such a workshop can be used for the most complex US. In this workshop, the Product Owner (PO) places a US on the table described by a post-it note with the related business rules (one post-it note per rule). Then with post-its, examples are given to illustrate the rules and how they are checked. The participants ask the questions that come to them on post-its that they put on the parts that need clarification. The PO tries to answer the different questions and after a certain amount of time (25 minutes), the parts that have been clarified become part of the US.

To facilitate the implementation of this workshop, different colors of post-its will be used to differentiate :

  • the US
  • the business rules
  • examples
  • the questions

This mode of operation allows :

  • everyone to be active [Adzic 2011].
  • to clearly identify what is defined and what remains to be clarified in a limited time
  • to obtain acceptance criteria based on examples
Illustration of Example Mapping from [Moustier 2019-1]
Illustration of Example Mapping from [Moustier 2019-1]

Application to test maturity

Structuring the approach to a practice that has already been implemented obviously helps to enrich the expected results. The use of post-its makes it possible to keep track of each intervention and encourages everyone to participate actively.

The use of tools such as Miro or Klaxoon also makes it possible to extend the number of participants in order to broaden the scope of the participants more easily and to give different perspectives to the US. This is particularly relevant for putting operational constraints (infrastructure, security, finance, UX, ...) into perspective.

This workshop can easily be improved by adding a type of post-it note that indicates ideas for tests or architecture that can improve the quality of the US, notably by including applicable non-functional requirements.

Agilitest's position on this practice

The use of the "Example Mapping" workshop contributes to defining in a group the tests and data sets that will be implemented in Agilitest. This approach makes it possible to better define the quantity of Story Points necessary to accomplish a US and to imagine a collaborative mode around the needs related to this US.

To discover the whole set of practices, click here.

To go further

© Christophe Moustier - 2021