I am trying to wrap my brain around how to present/show the common features in user story mapping template.

Currently I have it as its own theme, but at same time it makes sense to break the feature and move its corresponding user stories to the existing themes under the Car and Truck theme containing the feature "Select colour of vehicle"

I'm curious as to how the others have shown a feature that is common across multiple themes (e.g. shared functionality)?


  • Themes: Car, Truck
  • Common activity: Pick the colour
  • Variation: Car will have different choices to Truck, but the functionality same
  • A theme is a related set of stories that form a common thread, not a single cohesive roll-up as an epic would be. I’m not sure I see picking a color as either cohesive or thematic. Why not just color code common elements, or move them into a singular definition of done?
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 10:52
  • Nevermimd "cars and trucks." What is your situation? Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 16:57
  • @ToddA.Jacobs ignoring the bad colour example, the point is more around how do show a feature that crosses multiple themes, how do you ensure dev team understands that it is meant to be a shared feature rather than thinking it in isolation long after you discussed it?
    – Aeseir
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 2:58

1 Answer 1


In my experience, "there is actually more than one kind of 'story.'" In any software system, the functionality is always interlinked and therefore interdependent. Some of the "stories that need to be told" have to do with these internal interdependencies, which may never be directly or even indirectly apparent to any "user," and which might be involved (more or less invisibly?) in many seemingly-unrelated "user" stories.

Software is a mechanism with a virtually-unlimited number of parts. Some of the "stories that need to be told" take place under the hood, not in the cab.

  • This is a very un-agile answer. The example stories were clearly user stories, not enablers, and thinking of them as enablers is a bad idea. Rather we should be looking for ways to see back end work in terms of user value and slicing it as part of user stories as much as possible.
    – Red Anne
    Commented Jun 4, 2021 at 5:28

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