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Release Map

The Release Map is the one and only artifact in FAST.

FAST is designed to be lightweight. There is only one artifact (the Story Map) and only one meeting, the FAST meeting

The Release Map or Product Wall is essentially a story map. It is a way to visualize the entirety of the backlog quickly.

It is initially populated with features that are not broken down. When and how they are broken down is up to the tribe and is work - like any other work.

Breaking work down into consumable chunks

User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton
Like everything else in FAST, work break down happens in a just enough, just in time fashion. Features are broken into large stories, and then again into smaller and smaller stories until they are consumable by a team. An example is:- a story shepherd decides to work on a new feature. The freshly congregated team need to determine what is a sensible thin slice that they can deliver in the iteration with the number of members and skill set in their team room. To this end, they will begin the breaking down of stories and stop when they have found the most sensible items that meet these requirements. This would be the first activity for a team to do before any coding in the case of a new feature or a large item that hasn't been broken down yet. These work items are posted back to the release map and so the map becomes more and more fragmented and fine-grained as the project proceeds. Whether you leave completed stories on the Map and how you indicate not started, in progress and done is for you to decide.

The features/stories/items may or may not be sized. That is up to your tribe if you choose. FAST can work in a sized/estimated or no-estimate environment. How sizing and estimatiion work in FAST needs to be vastly different from common estimation practices due to the fact of fluid teaming. See FAST estimation and Sizing and Flow Rate for more details.

In practice, you may find that the map can get very busy as fragmentation occur. This can be managed more easily by keeping the Release Map for high-level items only and then each feature would have its own feature map. We discovered this pattern at one of the early adoptions of FAST. Working this way you can quickly visualize the state of a release and then go to the feature map for more detailed information on that state of that feature.