— David J Bland (@davidjbland) April 9, 2015
This week a colleague rushed up asking how long it would take to produce a journey map and the answer was … it depends.
But first, what is a journey map?
A journey map is a model of a person’s experience over time with an organisation. They can describe a service experience of an existing customer, such as a support call or they can describe the sales experience of a new customer. The latter usually conforming to some version or other of the purchasing funnel. For the purposes of this post I am discussing current-state and not future-state journey maps.
Who and what is represented in journey maps?
A journey map can be the story of a specific persona or it can depict the generalised experience of all customers. Adaptive Path makes this distinction and labels the former a customer journey map, and the later an experience map.
Then there is the “stage” to consider. The front-stage shows the customer experience and the back-stage presents the corresponding experience of the organisation – the teams, systems and processes that combine to deliver the experience. This kind of journey is usually described as a service blueprint.
So … how long does a journey take to make?
To plan resources, people, and effort you need to think about the content and the data that’s informing it. This can come from internal workshops, co-design sessions, or through customer and staff research.
Guidelines for planning
|Activity||Inputs||Who you’ll need||Time||Considerations||Cost||Trade-off|
|Quick Workshop||Anecdotal knowledge||Subject matter experts, product owners, front line staff as proxies for customers. 1-2 facilitators.||Half-day||
||$||Minimal time and cost but no first-hand customer data.|
|Workshop||Existing researchVoice of customer data||Subject matter experts, staff, product owners. 1-2 facilitators.||1-2 weeks||
||$$||Minimal time and cost. Depending on quality of research and data journey can be fragmented with no context for wider story or experience.|
|Journey co-design workshops||Recounted experience. Example touch points.||Customers who have recently or are currently going through the experience.One facilitator, one note taker.||2-5 weeks||
||$$$||Customer data represented but highly dependent on recall. Detail of real time customer experience e.g. with a specific touchpoint or episode may be lost.|
|JTBD switch interviews with customers||Recounted experience.||Customers who have very recently switched to your product or away you’re your product to a competitor.
One researcher. Note taker optional.
||$$$||Customer data represented but dependent on recall. Skilled interviewer should be able to elicit detail of real time customer experience of a specific touchpoint or episode.|
|Contextual interviews and/or longitudinal diary studies with customers||Recounted or directly observed experience.Qualitative insights.Can dig deep into quite low level detail and describe context of use of example touch points.||Customers who have recently or are currently going through the experience.
A representative sample for each customer segment.
A team of researchers. 2-4 depending on the number of customers.
||$$$$$||Requires large investment and results are not actionable for some time but end result is credible research report usable by both executive and operational teams.|
As with anything, there are trade offs involved. A well researched and high detailed journey will certainly stand the test of time, be useful to multiple audiences, and be a persuasive research piece to support change. It all depends on your project needs and constraints. The 80/20 rule may also apply—making smaller investments with Jobs-to-be-Done research or co-design workshops may yield most of the major insights you need to uncover for significantly less cost and time.
I have made a some updates since first publishing this post. Thanks to Krispian Emert for your valuable feeback.
Monday 23rd March was the fourth installment of the Sydney chapter of the Jobs to be Done meetup, and the first co-organised by me. That’s right, after so many years of attending meetups I’ve finally stepped up to help Christian keep the ball rolling. As always we were wonderfully and generously hosted by Brainmates who also host and sponsor Product Mavens and Product Talks Sydney. I’ll be getting along to one of those very soon.
JTBD 4 was all about customer interview practice and the particular techniques used in Jobs-to-Done. Like other qualitative interviews it probes for detail but a Jobs-to-Done interview also
- hones in on a participant’s ‘hotspots’
- asks seemingly irrelevant questions, such as what the weather was like that day to not only trigger memories but to stop the interviewee post-rationalising their decisions
- tries to identify each trigger where the participant progressed through a stage of the buying, switching, or leaving journey.
We watched a video of Bob Moesta and Chris Spiek demonstrating the interview technique at Business of Software 2013. Then everyone got a chance to practice interviewing themselves in groups. It was pretty funny and sweet hearing everyone’s stories. Especially from the business owners. Inspiring stuff.
The most fun was the discussion afterwards. We all shared our own experiences and opinions on interviewing etiquette: the art of asking open questions, whether it is OK to ask closed questions, and the trick of leaving a question hanging for the participant to fill the void.
Thanks to all who attended. A guest speaker will be announced very soon for the next event so sign up on Meetup if you haven’t already. See you there!