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Brainstorming with a two-level view
Brainstorming with a two-level view

StoriesOnBoard offers you an excellent feature of what can be helpful during brainstorming for example

Tamás Párványik avatar
Written by Tamás Párványik
Updated over a week ago


How can I access two-level view?

In this article, we will go through a theoretical brainstorming session and arrangement with the help of the two-level view. 

The two-level view can be accessed in the top-right menu: 

It is also recommended to use more columns to avoid a long vertical list of cards.

Now all the ideas can be created as a task (yellow) cards. It is still very easy to rearrange the board, so if an idea is more important it can be put to a higher level, or as a larger category to Activity (blue card) for example. It works back and forth. If we have more than one column, the order of the cards will look like this:

In the next example, we will rebuild the sample map of StoriesOnBoard called MapShop sample. The point of the re-creation is that we will start from scratch with a theoretical brainstorming session, Then we will go a little further and specify the MVP according to the webshop, later we will add more releases to show a possible and recommended workflow with our tool.

Silent brainstorming

Office brainstorming

For a typical brainstorming, we need only sticky notes, pens, and the most important thing, the ideas. Now we can sit around a table and start writing our ideas. When everyone finished we can start to sort out the sticky notes. It is possible that at the end we will have some ideas duplicated or it turns out that some of them are not that good.
Now, when we sorted out the ideas it is time to log in to StoriesOnBoard and make our virtual sticky notes there. For our sample MapShop it will look like this:

(note that we can also do the brainstorming like sitting around the table, one person is creating the cards directly in StoriesOnBoard based on the ideas of the others, that is not a silent brainstorming though)

Remote brainstorming

There is also another way to do the brainstorming remotely in StoriesOnBoard. For this, a person (usually the admin or whoever responsible for the project) should prepare the board for the others like making a top level card for each person and ask them to collapse all the others during the brainstorming:

In this case, in the end, we should have a board like this:


At this point, it doesn't matter which way we get here, we should re-arrange the board and name some activities (blue cards), then organize the tasks (yellow cards) under them.

All we need to do is creating some main categories. We recommend following the narrative flow to keep things as clear as possible. Narrative flow means that we are going through the steps our users will probably do in the product and we are trying to categorize the ideas based on that. Like this, we have all the users who will have to do something with the webshop, the owner or admin will be the one who uploading and administering the products, then someone will do the promotion and the possible customer will select and by the product.

After the arrangement, the map will look like this in the two-level view: 

As you can see the tasks are in time order from the top to the bottom. It is not necessary to arrange like this, but as always we are trying to keep the overview as clear as possible. 

Now the brainstorming idea pool is empty so we can delete it. (In case of the remote brainstorming we can delete the cards for Tod, Brian, John, and Margery)
After switching back to the three-level view, our board will look like this:

So that is quite it about the recommended brainstorming techniques you can use with StoriesOnBoard. In the next chapter, we will go a little further and make some subtasks for development, determine the MVP, and plan some future releases.

Building the rest of the story map

Now as we have the base of our map, it is time to determine the MVP. What are the most important things we need to start our service and make it possible to produce income? To answer this question we need to think about the first essential steps of development, not only the way of priority but the time and resources we have for the development.

Let's get back to our MapShop sample:

You can see in the picture above, that we created some subtask (white) cards. Usually, this is also teamwork, together with the client and with the help of the PM or PO. You can also notice that I'm about to create a new release from the drop-down menu on the left side. I will name it: MVP.
In the next phase we have our MVP sorted out:

Now we have everything to start working on the project. We can add some details to the story cards, teammates and the client can post comments and illustrations to the cards, and it is also possible to re-arrange some of them if the client changes his mind for example.
To get the final form of the MapShop sample I added one more release, and some unscheduled cards for the ideas we don't really know where to put yet. These ideas have the lowest priority, some of them aren't ever gonna go to the development stage.

You can have a look at the sample map anytime in StoriesOnBoard by creating a new one by hovering the mouse on the new map button:

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