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Jaime López
Jaime López

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From User Needs to Initial Code with GPT

As a product owner, your mind races with ideas. You juggle user needs, business goals, and a seemingly endless list of features. But translating those ideas into a clear and actionable roadmap can feel like an insurmountable task.

Struggling to define epics, prioritize features, and craft user stories that truly capture the user experience? You're not alone. Many product owners find themselves bogged down in the initial planning stages, wasting valuable time and stalling project progress.

Bot interacting with a computer

What if there was a way to streamline your workflow, spark new ideas, and ensure your product roadmap is laser-focused on user needs? This article will explore how GPT can revolutionize your product management process.

Let's dive in and discover how this tool can empower you to build products that users love.

How GPT Can Help Craft Epics, Features, and User Stories

Imagine having a brainstorming partner who can tap into a vast well of knowledge and generate creative ideas on demand. That's the power GPT brings to product owners like you! I'll explore how GPT can assist you in defining your entire product roadmap, from high-level epics to user-centric stories.

Epic Exploration with GPT

Feeling lost in the wilderness of product goals? You're not alone. Many product owners struggle to define the north star for their creations. But fear not, GPT is here to be your compass!

1. Identify Strategic Goals
Stuck pinpointing your product's ultimate purpose? Briefly explain your app to GPT – its features, target audience (young professionals wanting financial control!), and the whole shebang. GPT will then suggest strategic areas to focus on, aligning your product with market needs. Imagine it as a brainstorming session on steroids!

2. Explore User Needs
Ever feel like you've heard every user need under the sun? GPT can analyze existing data or feedback, uncovering hidden pain points and opportunities you might have missed. This can spark brand new epic ideas that directly address user frustrations, ensuring your product solves real problems.

3. Organize Your Epics
So, you have a list of potential epics – fantastic! But how do you know which to tackle first? GPT can help you categorize and prioritize them based on factors like user impact, market trends, and business objectives. This ensures you're focusing on the most critical goals first, maximizing your product's success.

A GPT Example

Let's say you're a Product Owner developing a mobile expense tracking app for young professionals. Here's a GPT prompt to get you started:

I'm a Product Owner working on a new mobile app that allows users to easily track their daily expenses and create budgets. Key features include categorizing expenses, setting spending limits, and receiving personalized financial insights. The target audience is young professionals looking to manage their finances more effectively. Can you help me identify the potential strategic goals this product could address for the company?

Epic creation with GPT

Bringing Your Epics to Life with Features

Your epic roadmap is set, but how do you translate those high-level goals into concrete features? Here's where GPT can bridge the gap and transform vision into action.

1. Building Upon Your Epics
With your epics defined, GPT can help you flesh them out. Describe an epic to GPT, and it will suggest relevant features that contribute to achieving that overall goal.

2. Prioritizing for Impact
Feeling overwhelmed by a laundry list of features? GPT can analyze user data and epic goals to help you prioritize. This ensures you focus on the features that deliver the most value to your users and business.

3. Identifying Missing Pieces
Worried you've overlooked something crucial? GPT can analyze your epics and suggest additional features that might be essential for a complete solution.

A GPT Example

Let's imagine your epic is "Increase user engagement with the platform." Feeling a bit stuck on specific features, you can leverage GPT with a prompt like this:

Based on the Epic detail 'Increase user engagement with the platform,' and considering the user research and technical limitations, can you help me brainstorm features that would encourage deeper connections and foster meaningful interactions between users within their communities?

Feature creation with GPT

Crafting Powerful User Stories with GPT

With your epics and features defined, it's time to put the user front and center! GPT becomes your secret weapon for crafting compelling user stories that capture the essence of user needs.

1. User-Centric Storytelling
Stuck writing user stories that feel generic? Describe your desired feature to GPT, and it will help you craft clear, user-focused stories. These stories will capture the "who," "what," and "why" behind each user need, ensuring your product resonates with your target audience.

2. Exploring Diverse Scenarios
Want to ensure your product caters to a wider range of users? Provide GPT with a basic user story, and it can generate variations that consider diverse user needs and contexts. This helps you identify potential gaps and ensures your product is truly inclusive.

3. Maintaining User Focus
Ever written user stories that read more like technical specs? GPT can analyze your stories and identify areas where technical jargon or internal details overshadow the user's perspective. This ensures your stories stay focused on the user experience, the heart of any successful product.

A GPT Example

Let's say you're working on user stories for a "Personalized news feed" feature aimed at users feeling overwhelmed by online news. Here's a GPT prompt to get you started:

I'm a Product Owner working on user stories for the 'Personalized news feed' feature. The feature aims to curate a news feed based on the user's interests and reading history. The target user persona is someone who wants to stay informed but feels overwhelmed by the amount of news available online. Can you help me generate user stories that capture the user's perspective and needs when interacting with this feature? Please, use the following format: 'As a [user role], I want to [user goal], so that [benefit].'

User stories creation with GPT

Code Jumpstart: From User Story to Initial Code

With clear user stories in hand, GPT can become your secret weapon for jumpstarting the development process. Here's how:

1. Generating Code Snippets
Provide GPT with a user story and your chosen programming language. Based on its understanding of the user's needs, GPT can suggest basic code snippets that handle the core functionality. This jumpstarts development and reduces time spent writing repetitive boilerplate code.

2. Anticipating Challenges
While GPT can't write entire programs, it can analyze user stories and identify potential coding hurdles or edge cases developers might encounter. This forewarning allows for proactive planning, preventing roadblocks during development.

A GPT Example

Imagine the user story: "As a news app user, I want to be able to save articles for later reading, so that I can access them conveniently offline." Feeling lost on the initial code structure, you can leverage GPT with a prompt like this:

I'm a Product Owner working on an initial prototype for a new feature. The user story is: 'As a news app user, I want to be able to save articles for later reading, so that I can access them conveniently offline.' Can you help me brainstorm potential code structures, functionalities, or outline an initial prototype that would fulfill this user's goal? Programming language: C#

Code generation with GPT

Remember, GPT is a powerful tool, but it doesn't replace your expertise. Use it to spark creativity, gather insights, and streamline your workflow. The final decisions on epics, features, and user stories always lie with you, the product owner.

Benefits for the company

This approach offers several advantages for companies:

  • Get products to market faster: By streamlining project tasks, development moves quicker. Starting with some code reduces prototyping and development time.
  • Stay on the same page: Clear descriptions ensure everyone understands the project goals. Regular updates keep the project aligned with company needs.
  • Work better together: Product Owners and development teams can collaborate more easily with a shared understanding of project details. GPT helps kick off discussions and improvements.
  • Do more with less time: Automating some description and code generation frees up time for more important tasks. Teams can focus on higher-level design and development, boosting overall productivity.
  • Higher quality results: Clear descriptions and defined tasks lead to fewer mistakes. Starting code provides a solid foundation for further development.

By using GPT for project management and initial code generation, Product Owners can lead projects more effectively. This results in faster completion and better outcomes for the company.

Benefits for the employees

This GPT approach isn't just good for companies, it's great for employees too! Here's why:

  • Empowerment and new skills: Product Owners can take on more technical tasks, feeling more involved. Developers can focus on creative coding, not repetitive tasks. Everyone can learn new skills related to using GPT and AI for projects.
  • Better work, happier employees: GPT automates boring tasks, freeing employees for more interesting work. This reduces stress and burnout, making jobs more enjoyable.
  • Solve problems faster: GPT provides quick answers and code snippets, helping employees solve problems quicker. This keeps projects moving and reduces frustration.
  • Work together better: Clear descriptions from GPT help everyone understand each other. This leads to smoother teamwork and fewer misunderstandings.
  • More creative and innovative: GPT can help brainstorm new ideas and approaches. It also allows for quicker creation of code to test new features. This encourages innovation and continuous improvement. Employees can learn from GPT's solutions and incorporate new techniques into their work.
  • Work-life balance and well-being: GPT makes work more efficient, reducing overtime and stress. This allows employees to maintain a healthier work-life balance. Feeling less overwhelmed creates a more positive work environment. Employees see the impact of their work with GPT's help, motivating them to keep doing great work.

By using GPT every day, employees can be more productive, satisfied, and keep growing. GPT makes their work easier and more fun and creates a supportive and innovative work culture.

Bonus Tip: Streamlining Import with GPT and Azure DevOps

While GPT shines in sparking creative ideas and crafting user stories, it can also lend a hand with more technical tasks. Here's a cool bonus tip on using GPT to streamline importing tasks into Azure DevOps, a popular project management tool.

Imagine you have your epic ideas all figured out, but manually adding them to Azure DevOps one by one sounds like a drag. Here's how GPT can help:

Think of GPT as your friendly Azure DevOps assistant. You can tell it:

Hey GPT, you're an Azure DevOps whiz! Can you generate a CSV file (a comma-separated values file, kind of like a spreadsheet) for me? It should have three columns: 'Work Item Type,' 'Title,' and 'Priority.' Make sure 'Work Item Type' always says 'Epic,' and 'Priority' can be either '1,' '2,' or '3.' Here's the fun part: create 20 rows for a new mobile app that helps young professionals track their daily expenses and budget effectively. Key features include categorizing expenses, setting spending limits, and offering personalized financial insights.

This instruction tells GPT to act like an Azure DevOps expert and build a CSV file specifically designed for easy import. We tell it what information to include in each column ("Work Item Type," "Title," and "Priority") and what values each can have. We also give it some background on the app's features and target audience to spark relevant epic ideas.

Azure DevOps board created from GPT result

By running this prompt, GPT will create a CSV file with a bunch of rows, each representing a potential epic related to your expense tracking app. Each row will have "Epic" under "Work Item Type," a priority level (1, 2, or 3), and a title related to the app's functionalities, like "Develop Expense Categorization System (Priority: 1)" or "Implement Personalized Financial Insights (Priority: 2)".

This GPT-generated CSV file can be directly imported into Azure DevOps, saving you tons of time compared to manually adding each epic. It also provides a jumpstart for further brainstorming and refinement within Azure DevOps.


The ever-evolving world of product development demands constant innovation and agility. By leveraging the power of GPT, you can transform your product roadmap from a cumbersome chore to a collaborative and creative process.

Remember, GPT isn't a replacement for your product expertise. It's a powerful tool that can enhance your decision-making, spark fresh ideas, and streamline your workflow. As you explore the capabilities of GPT, you'll find yourself tackling complex challenges with newfound confidence.

So, unleash the potential of GPT and watch your product soar! Use it to identify strategic opportunities, prioritize features that deliver real value, and craft user stories that resonate with your audience. With GPT by your side, you'll be well on your way to building products that not only meet user needs but exceed expectations.

Top comments (5)

kurealnum profile image

Great article, but I feel the need to note that GPT does not help employees become more creative and innovative. In fact, it does quite the opposite. Everything that GPT says is just regurgitated information from the internet, literature, or other sources of information, so there's nothing in its responses that is new or original. This directly contrasts the definition of innovation -- which is "a new idea, method, or device".

jaloplo profile image
Jaime López

Creating something from scratch is very difficult. I would say that every new thing you could think of is based on something previously done with some modifications. Based on this, using GPT is great if you want some kind of help. For example, GPT is able to generate text using multiple styles and tones. You can play with it to find the right way of saying something, or of expressing an idea you don't fully have in your mind.

It's true that GPT based the answers on other sources of information, but what about any person in this world? This is a great discussion but I like to think it helps people develop new things, or helping to complete those gaps for some reason they can't.

So, coming back to the topic in the article, GPT could help "Product Owners" roles on their tasks: refining the product backlog, asking questions not asked before, finding gaps in the definitions, etc. Or, at least, this is what I think it can do and I use it every time I need it. No doubt I review all the answers I received and adapt them to my needs.

kurealnum profile image

I do see your point in your second paragraph. All of us are biased, or at the very least influenced, by other sources in our world. However, I do maintain my position that GPT does not help us create new ideas. It may seemingly give us a head start, but in the long run, it really isn't doing that much. (For evidence, I'll be the shameless plug and cite myself -- the part on homogeneity is the part that pertains to our discussion). All that being said, I do understand how GPT can be helpful in smaller situations, such as generating ideas for the opening of an email.

balagmadhu profile image
Bala Madhusoodhanan

Some of the things i have use

1) User story creation. Definitely have used this to help Product Owners to get an initial template for the planning and then leverage backlog refinement session to enrich the template

2) As a proof of concept wrote about documentation as well

jaloplo profile image
Jaime López

Great resources as well. I want this article to be something to take into account for new developments. I want to create a prototype app for generating the epics and features. Imagine a conversational app that asks you a lot of questions and creates a whole backlog from your answers. Sounds great, doesn't it?