Manage Change with Story Mapping and BAPO

Do you want a simple way of planning and running your organisational change process? Combining Story Mapping and BAPO provides a great framework.


When working with change, it’s often useful to have some framework or guiding structure to organise the process. You have probably heard of ADKAR or similar processes to get a communication and action framework. I’d like to offer a complementary framework based on User Story mapping and BAPO. It provides a great common overview and planning framework for the whole organisation to be included in the change work at hand.

User Story Mapping

User Story Mapping is a way of visualising work along a user journey. You identify steps in the journey and the activities within the steps and map it out. From there you can shape clusters of the flow hanging together, create slices of your scope and prioritise what to focus on. It’s normally used within product development but I’ve also used it to visualise work related to change and it’s a great tool to use when collaborating, calibrating and designing your organisation. You can find more information here by Jeff Patton.


I’ve written about BAPO before and in short it’s a way of structuring your change thoughts, starting with Business (B) and figure out what you want to deliver to you customers, then go into the Architecture (A) which is highly connected to the Business needs. In the next step you think through needed Processes (P) to support your efforts and finally you dive into how the Organisation (O) should be structured in order to fulfil B, A and P, and there is your BAPO thought framework. You can find more information here and here by Jan Bosch.

Setting up and running your organisational change

Imagine you are in an organisation and you feel it is not optimal for your current mission, or maybe you merge parts of your organisation and need to figure out what it should look like and how you will run it. It’s very easy to start focusing on the team to build up the new organisation instead of asking yourself what the organisation should deliver in terms of buisness result. Likewise it easy to start the change work in an unstructured way instead of slicing the full change scope and prioritise the right things.

Simple models are great ways to guide you in the right direction and combining User Story Mapping and BAPO I find really powerful.

Set up the Structure

Create a map structure with the BAPO steps on the horizontal axis and have columns creating verticals. A a Phases column to the left to cater for the slicing and prioritising.

Basic structure to start with

Generate Ideas

For each column, Business, Architecture, Process and Organisation, ideate what activities to to learn and launch the change.

Generate ideas

Build Slices

Move the activities and form chains that hang together across the BAPO columns. Try to achieve some outcome with the chain and put a name of the phase.

Initial slices in the map

Add Information and Build out the Map

Now when you start to see steps in your change process, add new information when missing and try to cover all columns, but still keep the slices you have created thin.

BAPO in a Story Mapping planning structure

This is now your change plan, built up based on the BAPO framework and sliced in small steps and phases. It’s now easy to visualise the plan, progress and also to change is over time as you learn more.


Visualisation is a great tool to support collaboration, co-creation and radiate information in your organisation. By combining the User Story mapping framework with the BAPO change structure you will have a great set-up for you upcoming change work.

Special thanks to my dear friend and rock star Cansu Kilit for inspiring discussions and co-creating ways to user this framework. You are awesome!