Participatory Planning: User Story Mapping


Participatory Planning is a decentralised democratic way to plan an economy, developed as an alternative to market competition or top-down central planning. In this annual event, workers and consumers (through membership of their democratic councils) take part in a procedure to coordinate their activities for the year ahead.

One of our goals is to design and build interactive participatory planning software in order to a) experiment with, improve upon and deepen our understanding of participatory planning in practice b) create educational tools, run workshops and develop games for awareness raising, and c) in the longer-term, to build a planning software that could be used by a society wishing to implement a real-world pilot scheme.

User Story Mapping

To lay the groundwork for developing future participatory planning software, this project was to design a ‘user story map’ of the planning procedure.

A user story map is a visual story that captures the journeys users take in a software.

Over a series of meetings, members of our group met to design a user-story map of the participatory planning procedure, capturing the key users of the software and the key activities and tasks they would need to take while using the software. Note that the user story map is an initial best guess of how we think users will use the software and will be updated over time as we get more feedback from testing it out with real users.


We identified the following key actors:

  • Neighbourhood
    • Individual Consumer
    • Nominated household Spokesperson
    • Neighbourhood Council Spokesperson
  • Consumers’ Federations
    • Federation Delegate
    • Federation Spokesperson
  • Workplace
    • Individual Worker
    • Worker Council Spokesperson
  • Workers’ Federations
    • Federation Delegate
    • Federation Spokesperson
  • Support Units
    • Expert Advisor
    • Mediator
    • Credit Approval Worker
  • Community of Affected Parties (CAPs)
    • CAP Member
    • CAP Spokesperson
    • CAP Expert Advisor
  • Environmental Courts
    • Judge
  • Facilitation Board (FB)
    • FB Worker
    • FB Spokesperson
  • Software
    • System Administrator
    • System
    • Help Desk Worker


We split-up the activities into three categories: 1) tasks that happen before the planning procedure starts 2) tasks during the planning procedure 3) tasks that happen after the planning procedure is complete.

Pre-planning Activities

  • Administer Software
  • Provide Help
  • Create an Account
  • Log in/Log out
  • Manage Account
  • Get Help
  • Look up Information
  • Categorise Products/Services
  • Elect Roles
  • Apply to start a CAP
  • Approve/Dissolve a CAP
  • Apply to start a Workers’ Council
  • Approve/Dissolve a Workers’ Council
  • Apply for Allowances
  • Apply to Borrow
  • Approve/Reject Application
  • Decide Provisional Collective Neighbourhood Consumption Plan
  • Decide Provisional Pollution Tolerance Level Plan
  • Decide Provisional Workplace Production Plan

Planning Activities

  • Announce Prices
  • Make a Collective Consumption Proposal
  • Make an Individual Consumption Proposal
  • Aggregate Members’ Proposals
  • Make a Work Proposal
  • Make a Pollution Allowance Proposal
  • Process Data
  • Check Supply and Demand
  • Update Prices
  • Announce New Prices
  • Revise Consumption Proposal
  • Revise a Work Proposal
  • Revise Pollution Allowance Proposal

Post-Planning Activities

  • Make an appeal
  • Review appeal
  • Adjust Prices

The User Story Map

Here is the user story map in full. It’s big, so please use the magnifying glass button to zoom in.