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A Storymapping Example: Creating an Alexa Skill for Keeping Journal

The idea


Keeping Journal

I am writing journal for about three month now. Reflecting about the good things on the day before, helps me to stay positive. It is really changing my attitude, so I decided to create an Alexa skill to record my thoughts instead of writing them down.
Note: Actually writing us relaxing itself. If you want to stick to it I can really recommend the 5-Minute Journal

Why an Alexa Skill

I always wanted to create a skill that is really interactive. Although, I want to learn about Amazons Web Service (AWS). Let's see how interactive this idea will become. Finally, this video by Gary Vee motivated to start.

Define Activities


In the first step, I broke down my 10 minutes of writing journal in five steps:

  • 1
    I wake up at 6 am.
  • 2
    I open the journal.
  • 3
    I am reflecting the last day.
  • 4
    I am writing into the journal.
  • 5
    Every month I am reviewing old entries.

The Storymap


In the second step, I brainstormed some user stories and categorized them into the different user activities. Afterwards, I organized them according to their importance to define how I want to start the development.

 

The Concept

I have no experience in developing an Alexa skill yet. With the first iteration I want to keep it simple and learn about the Alexa Skill Kit


The MVP

A real journal doesn't forget anything. For the first release I will enhance the skill to remember e.g. the last week of entries to replay them later. 


More to come..

There are many more features to extend the Alexa skill. Storymapping helped me to decided which features to pick first. Later, I will be able to prioritize what I left out for now. 

Markus Kühn

Markus is a product owner of a distributed Scrum team where he experiences the daily struggles between user needs, software craftsmanship and actually delivering software. He wants to share what makes software development more reliable, efficient, fun and easier to deliver. Read more about his story on the About page.

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Define your next product increment using a story map - Software Has Bugs - June 30, 2018

[…] I defined user actions for keeping a journal. Check out the blog post about an "alexa skill for keeping a journal" for a user story mapping […]

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An Introduction to User Story Mapping - Software Has Bugs - November 7, 2018

[…] mapping to introduce major features in my software tools and to kick off private side projects e.g. for an Alexa skill for Amazon Echo.. And I totally love […]

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