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How to Map BPMN with User Stories?

BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) allows you to visualize a business workflow with simple flow object shapes like tasks, sub-processes, events, gateways and pools. Analysts like to use business process diagram (BPD) as a tool to communicate with stakeholders in identifying the business activities that requires the aid of an information system. In Visual Paradigm, agile teams can write user stories for requirements management. You can write user stories in UeXceler, as well as to 'draw' the stories directly in diagrams like BPD. To have user stories linked to business activities is known as 'Business Process to User Stories Mapping'. The visual mapping can be useful both in identifying system requirements and documentation. The following image shows you the idea of business process to user stories mapping.
Final BPMN business process diagram

Compatible edition(s): Enterprise, Professional, Standard, Modeler

  • April 07, 2016
  • Views: 52,280
  • PDF

Creating a user stories layer

Instead of writing user stories directly on a BPD, we will write them to a separate diagram layer. This step is not a must, but when you put the user stories in a layer, you can control their visibility easily by hiding and showing the layer. This can be important because you may not want to stories to appear all the time. When you are discussing the business process, you may want to focus on the business workflow instead of being distracted by other shapes.
  1. Download Inventory-Management-System.vpp.
  2. Open Inventory-Management-System.vpp by selecting Project > Open from the application toolbar and selecting Inventory-Management-System.vpp you just downloaded.
  3. Open the business process diagram Track Item.
    Simple business process diagram
  4. Select View > Layers from the application toolbar.
  5. In the Diagram Layers window, click on Create new layer and then enter User Stories as the name of layer.
    Adding user stories layer
  6. Click Close to return to the diagram. From now on, the shapes you draw in the diagram will be in the User Stories layer.

Drawing user stories in BPD

Assuming that you are studying the process (diagram) with stakeholder and coming across the Find Item in Inventory task. After a discussing with the stakeholder, several user stories are found:
  • User can search item with serial number
  • User can search on iPad
  • User can search on Android
  • User can see the result on a virtual 3D map
In this section you are going to draw these stories on the BPD.
  1. Select User Story from the diagram toolbar. You may need to scroll down a little bit in order to find it.
    Select user story tool
  2. Click on the diagram to create a story card and then enter User can search item with serial number as name.
    Created user story
  3. The story card seems to be a bit big. Let's resize it to make it smaller.
    Resizing story
  4. Instead of putting the story card loosely on the diagram, let's connect it with the task to form a 'mapping'. Press on the Generic Connector resource at the top left of the user story and then drag to the task Find Item in Inventory.
    Connect story with BPMN task
  5. Release the mouse button to create the connector. Drag on the connector to adjust its turning points.
    Adjusting connection point
  6. To prevent readers from mixing up the generic connector with BPMN sequence flow, let's give the connector a different look. Move your mouse pointer over the generic connector and click on Format Line.
    Format line
  7. Select the dotted line style.
    Select dotted line
    Up to now, your BPD should look like this:
    Updated business process diagram
  8. Apply the same techniques to draw the other three user stories.
    Updated business process diagram
  9. Let's say you have just finished studying the process with stakeholder. Two more user stories User can forward the result to teammate(s) and User can save the result are found from the tasks Report Item Not Found and Report Item Found respectively. Let's draw the user stories on the diagram and have them mapped from the corresponding tasks.
    Open Project Browser
  10. The user story User can save the result also satisfies the task Report Item Not Found. Let's map the user story and task with a generic connector.
    Generic connector created

Hiding the user stories layer

You have done. Let's say you want to discuss the business process with a senior executive who are not interested in those user stories. In this section you will hide the User Stories layer.
  1. Select View > Layers from the application toolbar.
  2. In the Diagram Layers window, uncheck Visible for the User Stories layer.
    Hide layer
  3. Click Close to return to the diagram. You will see the stories are gone.
    User stories hide

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