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"Journey Map Ops Unveiled: Navigating Customer Experiences with Richard, Maren, and Marc"

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January 22, 2024
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"Journey Map Ops Unveiled: Navigating Customer Experiences with Richard, Maren, and Marc"

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In this episode, stand in host Richard McMurray, service designer from the UK, meets Maren Hotvedt, service designer at Atlassian in the U.S., and Marc Stickdorn, service design expert from Austria. They delve into the world of customer journey management operations and discuss the practical application of journey maps as decision-making tools within organizations. Our host and guests share insights from their experiences, emphasizing the need for flexibility, scalability, and effective communication across teams.

Episode Transcript

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[00:00:02] Richard: Hi everyone. So welcome to, um, this is HCD. I'm not Gerry, but, uh, Gerry's here in spirit. So, um, and this is, today's going to be a talk between Maren, Marc and myself, just around customer journey, uh, journey management operations or journey management. And, uh, we're just really going to geek out today. So, um, I'm Richard McMurray.

I'm a service designer here in the UK in, well, actually rainy Manchester, but I've been practicing service design for probably about nine years and I've just come into journey management and I was just talking earlier with Maren just around it, just kind of getting into it in the last like year and a half.

So I'm probably quite new, but I'm really kind of excited about it. So Maren, do you want to

[00:00:50] Maren: Thank you. So I'm Maren Hotvedt and I am a service designer at Atlassian. Um, Atlassian, if you are not familiar, is a, uh, about 10, 000 person globally distributed company. And we make, um, SaaS software products like Jira and Confluence and Trello. Um, and we have been piloting journey map operations as well as journey management tooling for the last year and change, um, and have learned a lot along the way, so excited to, to share some of those learnings also to learn from you both as well.

[00:01:26] Marc: Hi everyone, I'm Marc, uh, Marc Stickdorn, German living in Austria in the mountain. It's snowing already here. Um, I work in the field of service design since many years, published some books about it. And, uh, since a couple of years, I run courses on journey management, journey map operations. I think we're going to talk about the naming, um, later on and how important language is if you want to bring this kind of stuff into an organization.

Um, I don't care how you call it, whatever works in your organization.

[00:02:04] Richard: Fantastic. Thank you both. Um, yeah, so kick, just to kick things off, I think for the viewers here, what is journey map operations to you? So I don't know, Marc, maybe do you want to

[00:02:17] Marc: I'm happy to. Um, so for me, it is really operationalizing journeys. It's not using a journey for one project, understanding what the pain points are, adding research data to it. Bending of future state maps and so on, but it's really using journey maps as a visual tool for decision making in organization.

Um, I often like to call it an information system, which you can use on different levels, different flight levels from a very high level strategic perspective to very detailed concrete. Um, parts of the experience with different teams who are managing that or who are responsible for that and using journeys as a source for decision making to understand what are the pain points, what are the unmet needs, what are the opportunities and visualize this data then differently in decision making tools to actually step by step improve the experience over time.

[00:03:14] Richard: Fantastic.

[00:03:17] Maren: Yes, so I am biased because I learned about JourneyMapOps from Marc, uh, about a year ago, uh, in one of his courses. So, Um, I do think his, his definition, you know, is good. Obviously it sold me on pushing for us to trial this within Atlassian. I think there, one question we should discuss, which is not answering this question per se, is what is journey management versus journey map operations?

Because as Marc was saying. Journey map ops is about the map itself, right? And operationalizing that as a tool for decision making. Um, I do think journey management is broader than that. Um, so again, something, something for us to discuss. But for me, um, one other element of journey map operations is that, um, It can scale up and down.

So you can take different pieces of it. You don't have to necessarily fully operationalize. So let's say that you're interested in trying this out on your own team. You know, one of the simplest questions you can start asking yourself is, do we need a living map or set of maps for this particular project or domain?

And if so, how are we going to keep them up to date? That alone is a huge undertaking, depending on, you know, the size and scope of the area that you're looking at. And so there's, there's little slices of it. I think that can be tackled one by one. And Marc is painting sort of the full magical picture of what, what, you know, what it should be, what it could be.

Um, But I have found it's not always realistic to, to fully implement journey map operations. Um, and as Marc said, like naming, naming matters as well. So in the example I just gave of like, how do you keep journey maps up to date? You know, journey. Maintenance schedule or something. I'm making that up. We've never used that term internally, but something like that, you know, maybe your starting point for journey map ops, it's definitely, um, as with journey management, there are levels of maturity and I don't know if there's like actually a maturity model out there available, but I have personally seen that like there are incremental slices of maturity and you can start very, very simple and you probably might have to.

[00:05:39] Richard: no, that's great. I think, I think that's a really good kind of place to start from. I think from a viewer's kind of perspective is how do you get started with this? And I think experience wise at the moment is, is that probably lots of companies are doing customer journey maps all in. I'd probably say in siloed ways, but just trying to get themselves going and trying to understand that customer perspective and trying to, as you say, Marc, identify needs, pain points, opportunities going through that.

But then as you say, Maren, it's kind of going, well, how does this become more of a living thing? And how does that actually translate into a small kind of operation, but as a T as a team operation of going, okay, we're going to track this, how this, how's this going to evolve? Because it doesn't stand still, does it?

It doesn't stand still and, um, I think we can kind of all relate to that and then we learn more about it and it keeps evolving.

[00:06:40] Maren: Yep, for sure. Even things like, um, you know, one of the key. And Marc jump in if I'm incorrect, but one of, one of the key things you need to understand in order to even begin with journey map operations is what journeys to map, which often maps to company priorities or customer priorities. Right. We are now in an economic environment, at least in the SAS software industry, where that might change very, very rapidly.

So if you invest really heavily in journey map ops and area a. And then suddenly area B is much more pressing. Let's say like the rise of AI, right, has kind of like, ma quick, very fast, has come on in the last year or two. Um, You have to be able to pivot, I think, very quickly. And so that, you know, how, how do you approach that?

How do you, I don't have the answers. I'm just saying things, things that I've seen personally as, as challenges, um, come up is like, how do you, how do you make this flexible and, um, able to respond to rapidly changing customer and business needs?

[00:07:49] Marc: Nice. I often see two different starting points in organizations. Either we start with a green field, which is fantastic. People tell me we don't have any journeys. And that's what they tell me. But then when they start working, they realize everyone has journeys. They just might call it differently, right?

Again, language matters. They have different names for it, or they were somewhere hidden in, in, in parts of the organization where they didn't look earlier. But if, if they say we start with a green field, fantastic, start with a high level map, understand where your first focus should be, and then you start really small, uh, with a, with, with the first.

Journey you're actually working on the majority of organization actually have loads of maps and and as you have said for many different use cases So first of all, you need to get an overview of what you have create an inventory because most organizations don't have an inventory of the journey maps They Don't have a repository, like a place to go to and find all these maps and understand what kind of maps do we have.

Did we create them once in a workshop? How useful is this right now? How much can you trust this map? Or was it a project map? But then how much research is it done? Is it like something you can trust or is it rather an assumption based map? Or is it a future state map showing like how the experience will be in three years or so?

So. First of all, getting an overview and of all the puzzle pieces you have and then see how you can fit it together. And I totally agree, we should never map just to map. We should always start small with the intention to actually have an impact on customers. And finding this place where you can have quickly an impact on customers to learn how to, um, how to adapt this to your own organization is absolutely critical to get this started.


[00:09:44] Maren: What do

[00:09:48] Richard: into that and probably one of the barriers that I've probably seen so far with this is everyone having their own version or their own kind of stages or their own phases or anything, you know, how have you kind of like tackled those kinds of things? Because I know Maren, I think in previous podcasts, you've talked a little bit about how the trial that you did at Atlassian and how you were looking at the different hierarchies or the different levels of journeys and how you kind of came about doing that as a trial.

That might be quite good just to see maybe where your thinking is gone now from that because that was probably about six or seven months ago or something, was it, I think?

[00:10:28] Maren: Yeah, that would have been, I think back in March and it's now November when we're recording this. Um, keen to hear Marc's answer. From my point of view, it has definitely been very challenging. Um. The

[00:10:47] Marc: I'm

[00:10:49] Maren: that we have done are, we have not done a full audit of all of our journeys, I actually think to do that at a company of our size, and just with the number of journeys being created daily, let alone like, over time, um, Um, it would either have to be automated or, um, I'm thinking too, we have like a research, a librarian at Atlassian whose sole job is like organizing all of our research studies and making them findable and cataloging them, etc.

So I'm almost imagining a journey librarian, which, um, actually, you know, I wanted to be a librarian.

[00:11:26] Richard: Silence. Silence.

[00:11:39] Maren: um, phases and stages?

So I have two, two thoughts there. One, um, there's going to be a lot of overlap. So in, in my talk, I kind of showed how we, Um, we basically took, um, a bunch of examples from across different parts of the business. And we looked at the phases that they were using and tried to come up with the highest order sort of global, um, framework.

And so for us looking at a customer journey, so not an employee journey or a partner journey, which also are kind of relevant in our space, um, Those are things like awareness, discovery, you know, trial, purchase, set up, use, buy. These aren't the exact phases, but like most customer journeys at the life cycle, customer life cycle level, you start to see, okay, they've used slightly different wording, but we're all kind of saying onboarding, right?

What's the best way to represent onboarding? So, that's piece one, um, is just, you know, Do sort of a, a broad look at all the journeys that you have. What are the commonalities and try to align on, um, you know, what is a good model that fits most cases, which again, at the, at the very, at the customer lifecycle level, like it should be.

Pretty obvious. They're not that different. Um, second piece is having an understanding of something else. Marc taught me, which is the idea of journey levels of zoom. So that customer lifecycle level. Is really what I think of as an L0. It's the broadest customer experience, the broadest map. And again, Marc, I'm stealing your thunder.

This is all your things you taught me. Um, so,

[00:13:31] Marc: Sorry.

[00:13:35] Richard: Um,

[00:13:40] Maren: maps. You may have data, you know, tied to, to this level that shows at the, at the very high level, like how is this customer life cycle performing?

Let's say land landing new customers is not looking very good. The idea here is you want to begin to understand why and potentially funnel resources into that land part of the customer journey, because you see that that's an unhealthy part, right? Whether that's because of customer sentiment or because of actual, you know, financial company metrics.


[00:14:11] Marc: be

[00:14:13] Maren: of Zoom, you know, you start at this very high level, and then you have, and you need to define these internally, but you might have a level one, a level two, a level three, and these kind of go from macro to more and more micro in scope, until finally you get to something that's like so small, it's not really a journey, it might be a UI flow, it might A single page, you know, but it, the, the component or the atom is like too small and then it's not really a journey.

So defining those, but not defining too many layers of those because then it gets confusing. So I've found three to four levels of zoom is Helpful as a, as a framing device to help people understand the scale and scope of different maps. Anything less than three is too few. Anything more than four starts to get too granular and people get confused.


[00:15:04] Richard: that's, that's interesting to hear. Between three and four is probably the sweet spot in a way. So,

[00:15:13] Marc: maybe, maybe to add on that, it's not, I totally agree on, on, on all of that, um, it doesn't mean that you need to have three or four levels at every phase of a journey, right? And usually what we see is at the beginning and the end, you have, you're more shallow. You don't go that much into depth, but the area around information, buying, using, renewal, like when, when we look from a commercial perspective of a, of a high level map are probably the areas where you have more in depth.

And then you have those, those moments in between where you might go. really into depth for, for certain, um, moments, the moments of matter, the moments of truth, where you then maybe go one level deeper even, uh, occasionally. Um, but it, it looks like a, like a turned around standard deviation, right? Which is shallow in the beginning, then goes deeper, and then goes, uh, flatten, flattening out in the end again.


[00:16:26] Maren: is coming bottoms up or top down. So top down, you're probably looking broadly, right? Or if top down is just a particular area of the business. So you have. It's more like middle down as opposed to top, top down.

It might be a whole phase or two phases of the customer life cycle. In our case, when we piloted, we, we did a year long pilot. We only focused on, uh, teams that were operating within. um, two phases of six of the customer life cycle because we didn't have the fully, you know, full top down. This is how we're operating.

It was a pilot where we were trialing in one particular area. Um, I think even then we had some support from management. I think if you're looking at this. On a team level, you know, you're an individual contributor or an individual practitioner and you think this would benefit your team, you're, you're definitely not looking at, yeah, three levels, four levels of maps and across the whole life cycle, right?

You're looking at like maybe a few maps, right? And maybe just one even, and it's at a particular level and that's what you commit to, to, to begin with. Hello,

[00:18:02] Richard: level because it's got to, it's got to level up to show the impact because that's the, probably the big thing I've always got quite keen on is like how we're connecting that to business goals and opportunities and how that's starting to bring that conversation of where's our impact with what, with what happens.

So I don't know. Marc, you know, Maren, you know, what your kind of thoughts are around that? Because I think that's starting to, I'm starting to see that.

[00:18:32] Marc: Yeah, it is. It is so fascinating because it's different from organization to organization. And going back to the question you asked before, like, what are the hurdles to get this in? I want to, without mentioning who it was, I want to, I want to talk about, um, uh, a client of mine. Uh, we worked over the last half a year, um, a government, uh, institution in a, in a European country.

And, um, they wanted to, um, to get started with, uh, with, with operationalizing journey maps. And they thought like, ah, it's, it's, it's simple. We'll make a plan and we get going. And we focus only on this, this one, two journeys and. And it turned out that it became a huge political issue, um, because every department, um, had their own perspective, uh, of how the high level map of the citizen experience actually looks like.

And sometimes you, you start discussing about terminology, like should it be named like this or named like that, which honestly doesn't matter at all, but. It's a placeholder for power in an organization who wins. Does my word wins or the word from that other organization? And it's, it's, I mean, I, I, I was just watching it like a, like a, like a show happening on, in, in multiple episodes with cliffhangers in between and, and season finales in between and so on.

It was, was fascinating to see this political development and how much it actually steers up. And that's why I think language is so important of how you bring it in. And I try to tone it down as much as possible, because that lowers the hurdles. And in this case, like it took them half a year until they ended up with a high level map that everyone agreed on in the end.

And It often goes down to a huge misconception about journey maps, and that is many people think that a journey map should be an accurate description of reality. And that is not the purpose of a map. A map is to simplify, is to give a level of abstraction, um, that simplifies reality so much that it actually becomes graspable that you can work with it.

If you look at maps in geography, depends on the zoom level, how many details you see. And when we do journey mapping, the main course of a journey map is not to reflect reality accurately, but to understand what can possibly go wrong at each step of the experience. And then ask yourself, are we prepared for that?

What are other, other path a journey can take here and, and how does it look like then? And I think these, these scenarios, these what if is way more important than is this step before that step or whatever. These discussions are just, are tedious. Okay.

[00:21:34] Richard: That's quite a, that's quite an enlightening point, actually, I haven't thought, I haven't thought about it like that. And just in one sense, you know, well, I've, I've, I've seen it and I've kind of, I've kind of felt it anyway. Um, Within the work that I've done in the past and everything as well. But it kind of goes it goes it goes exactly what you're saying about those different zoom levels of where you sit and Where that work happens?

um But yeah, maybe maybe that's quite good Maybe that's quite a good segue into what you wanted to talk about a little bit before was about what's the difference between journey? map ops and journey management And how does, what's the kind of difference around that? Because that sounds like maybe journey journey management, there is an element of having to facilitate that type of piece or how that's going to, how that's going to work, whereas joint and journey map operations is what is that?


[00:22:41] Maren: it's truly nascent thinking. I haven't, I haven't thought about this in three months. Um, but I think. A couple of things. One, I have observed even in the last year and a half alone, an absolute explosion of interest in journey management.

And we are now seeing more and more software players who provide explicit tooling for journey management, including Smaply, um, which is Marc's, uh, enter the market. I'm seeing consulting for journey management, all of these, all of these kind of like nascent signals that something is, is happening here.

And journey management to me is broader than journey map operations. It is a few things, so it's more multidisciplinary. So one of the hurdles going into the hurdles question of journey map ops is that it is really viewed as a design thing. At least this is my experience, but I have a strong hunch I'm not alone in this.

And when you view the creation and maintenance and operationalizing of journey maps as a design thing, You will always be pushed to the side. That's just, I think how it is. Journey management is more multidisciplinary in the sense that there are differences between, so journey management, one, one example, key component is.

Um, and then idea of ownership of different journeys and typically ownership or journey owners is not always a design function. It's, it's PM or some, some kind of hybrid right in between, maybe even a little bit of program management. So PM, sorry, I meant, um, product manager. Uh, and so I think this multidisciplinary.

Aspect is very important. Um, another piece is, and this, this applies to journey map ops, but I think it's very obvious in journey management is the combination of. Live data into the maps themselves. So with journey management, you not only need to understand what are our key journeys, what is the experience for our customers today?

It's bringing in elements like what is the road map for this particular journey? And will that actually solve the customer and business problems? What are the goals for this particular journey? So what are the OKRs or however you have your kind of key KPIs set? Who is responsible? Who is the directly responsible individual for the health of this journey?

Whose job is it to run this journey? And how does that fit into the actual org structure? So do you have teams? Actually organized around specific customer journeys as opposed to silos. So I'll give an example from Atlassian, Atlassian makes, you know. I don't know how many products we actually have. Let's say 10, I should know there's 10 products.

Plus like we have second party apps. We have third party integrations. Like it's a very complex space, but if you look at an activity like onboarding new customers. If you have the 10 different products, each responsible for their own onboarding, you have 10 vastly different experiences, but we as a business would like to see customers adopt multiple products, right?

That's helpful. And we also truly believe like our products are meant to work together. So onboarding as a journey. Um, under journey management should in theory be structured as a single team who is responsible for that customer journey with a single owner, a single DRI, hopefully a design directly responsible individual as well, responsible for standardizing that, but with tweaks to make it custom for each product, right?

[00:26:42] Marc: you

[00:26:46] Maren: of the nuance between journey management, which again is broader in my mind versus journey map operations, which is, as Marc said about operationalizing journey maps, journey management is much, much bigger.

[00:27:01] Richard: Yeah, very interesting.

[00:27:03] Marc: If, cause it's maybe to, to explain where this, this name came from, um, when we started with that around, like, it was like 2015, 2016, we actually called it journey management. And I moved away from that in like, well, maybe two years later, 2018, and came up with this term journey map ops, just.

Because I didn't have a better term and, and, and one idea was, well, it's a nice fit with like research ops, design ops, dev ops, and organizations and so on, like triple track agile is a, is a thing that, that, that came along and so on. So I thought like, yeah, ops is a nice name for it. And the sole reason for that was that.

Companies at that time was really struggling with the term management. And, uh, that's because management always means, Oh, a new management approach. People are afraid of losing power and, and, and so on. Um, and that is the only reason why we deviated from it. And another one was like journey management is a given turn logistics.

And I was, was pretty alone

[00:28:12] Maren: very confusing if you Google it. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:28:14] Marc: Google it.

[00:28:15] Maren: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:28:16] Marc: Logistic things and not nothing to do with what we are doing now. And, and I agree, like since two years, we see an explosion of it. I think the, uh, the naming is given now, like, uh, also I like, uh, yeah, it's journey management now it's, it's settled. That's fine.

But for me, it's the same thing. Like, I don't, I don't see any difference there. Um, so it's fascinating for me to see this, this outside perspective of how, how different terms actually mean different things then. And that is, yeah, again, how important language is. Transcripts provided

[00:28:53] Richard: anyway, is that one is about trying to, is trying to get the operationalized piece. But the other bit is, as you're talking about marrying with the management side is, is ultimately. Because I, I, I keep bouncing around with this point is we are living in a product management world, if we're honest, the way that is, you know, the way we talk about roadmaps, we talk about opportunities and how that works against the roadmap rather than going, well, actually the product fits into that journey.

And it does things for the customer or as your onboarding example, Maren is like there'll be parts of that which the product as you're going through will will seep into it, but it's the customer's journey going through it. But it's right that we've got, you've got a product way of doing things as well.

And the features and everything like that, they're in there, but it's how that marries together. And still, I still sometimes don't quite see how that's tying together, um, in the, in the way we talk about it and the language we talk about, um, and, and going through that, because it's things I hear is now it's like a lot of things are centered around the opportunity rather than going, okay, well, how does that fit into all those journeys?

Because we haven't got them all. You haven't got all the journeys and going, okay,

[00:30:09] Marc: So

[00:30:25] Richard: You can literally start to show that value and how that works. So, um, yeah, it's an, it's an interesting, I think there's, there's an interesting, there's a tension between kind of like how we're, as you said, Marc, the visualization of things and the information and how those decisions are made.

So it kind of keeps coming back to that.

[00:30:45] Marc: And on top of the different zoom levels, right? If you, if you look at a, sorry, at a, at a large organization, if you zoom out, Um, on, on one journey, you see multiple of the products. If you zoom into details, you will end up probably for, of, of a journey where you look only at one particular product. And then if you zoom in further, you look at the journey of one particular feature and, and, and how this feature actually solves, uh, a job for the customer.

So again, it, it depends on the zoom level also, uh, who is involved. And I think for, for each journey, it is really important to think about, I always like to use a standard business tool, the RASI chart, where you ask yourself for, for each part of the experience, who's responsible, who's accountable, who needs to be consulted, who wants to be informed and changes.

I think that the governance around it, especially on the different flight levels, is really important.

[00:31:48] Richard: That brings a really, that brings another question I had on here. It's like about the new kind of responsibilities or new roles. You kind of talking, Maren, about the new librarian, how you document these things. I know I've been, I've been on your course as well, Marc. So, They're kind of like the ambassadors and how we start to think about the management of maps and the, the, that, that kind of those kinds of rituals.

But what other things are you starting to see like Maren and Marc? What are you, what are you starting to see bubble up through the word that you're doing? Cause it'd be interesting to hear, I think.

[00:32:25] Maren: Yeah, I can, I can

Um, and also the, the map librarian, that was just a joke idea. We don't, we don't actually have that just in case that's not clear to people, but, um, if you want to try it, you know, ping me and tell me about it. Uh, so a few different, um, actually, let me, let me back up. I think the idea of roles and responsibilities, whether we're talking about journey, map, Ops or journey management is very, very important.

Having those defined, having an understanding of what they need to be, who needs to fulfill them, or what skill sets and how they're different from the way that you have been operating was something we spent a lot of time on. Um, some of the things that I have seen emerge in varying degrees of success, so I would say the most successful.

Thing thus far, um, has been this concept of directly responsible individuals who are responsible for different work streams. And this has been successful because it's actually come again, top down. This is a well known term now internally, and I cannot take any credit for this, but I do think it's very interesting because the areas within our business where, you know, we've kind of adopted this model, I see all of them as journeys.

So I'm counting it as a huge win for journey management because the whole idea is you need to know who to go to if there is an issue that needs to be resolved, a decision that needs to be made, right? Who's, who's responsible for the metrics associated with the journey and that, you know, that model has allowed that to become very, very clear where it was very confusing in the past.


[00:34:18] Marc: the the

[00:34:21] Maren: map level, we had, um,

[00:34:25] Marc: the

[00:34:27] Maren: Several, uh, trying to pull them up, actually several roles and responsibilities that we experimented with. So the first is the concept of journey owner. And for us, this was the individual responsible for keeping the map up to date at a regular cadence. They also had a lot of work upfront to actually, um, Organize stakeholders and run the workshops to create the first version of the map.

Um, Slight deviation from roles and responsibilities. One big learning we've had is that that upfront piece of work. Is also a really big hurdle because it takes a lot more effort to corral everyone and come up with that, you know, first version than it does to iterate or spin off different parts of that journey into smaller journeys or whatever it is that you need to do next.

Um, so if you're thinking about where the bulk of investment is, I do think it's very. Um, and that can be very heavily front weighted for this type of stuff, and that can be an impediment to success, particularly if, you know, you don't have the, the, the time or the, you have to carve out time for this. Um, anyway, so back to roles and responsibilities.

Um, journey owner has been the big one. A big question there for us has been who should be the journey owner. It's an interesting role. It could be for us design. It could be for us product management. And because over time the role is really about gathering updates and updating the maps based on those updates and then representing them back.

It's also kind of, um, program management for us. Um. And so that, that was definitely an interesting question of like, who should update these once they've actually been created, um, to actually create them, it was design research, product management in partnership. Um, mostly there were, there were others as well.

Um, but those were kind of the main players. Um, and then the, the last but not least is who's reviewing these journeys. So

[00:36:39] Marc: Uh,

[00:36:43] Maren: to date journey maps. I think we all know. It's to do something with them, right? So common, common use cases, like, they're very helpful for onboarding new people and rallying them around, like, what it is that they're working on.

But beyond that, Um, they give the current state, you know, pulse of what is the customer experience and what are we doing to change it and will that move the needle in the ways that we need it to, and for that you need some body of reviewers. So that, I think, goes by many names. I've heard it called the Journey Map Governance Council.

I've heard the Journey Map Reviewers. It could be even less formal than that. It could be just, uh, There's some ritual associated with it. So, ritual, I mean, like a meeting, typically, or An up to L loom review video review once a month that's shared out across channels, right? So it might not be necessarily it could just be the stakeholders for the map or the racy for the map, right?

Um, but those are the three things So again going back the responsible individual who's responsible for the overarching journey probably very senior level Um probably owns not just you know, one part of the journey but significant swaths of the stuff,

[00:37:59] Marc: provided Yeah,

[00:38:00] Maren: the person responsible for creating the map, the person responsible for maintaining the map, which may be the same, may be different.

And then the people responsible for

[00:38:11] Marc: man back

[00:38:12] Maren: viewing the map, using it as a tool and making decisions based off of it.

[00:38:17] Marc: advisors here

[00:38:18] Richard: I

[00:38:19] Maren: ones that we've been playing around with. And yes, terminology for all of that becomes very important. I think it's very org specific or company specific and. There's no common, I think, industry standards yet because it's all so new.

So trying to look elsewhere gives you some ideas, but won't necessarily get you very far in my experience.

[00:38:44] Richard: But the process is very good. The process is good that you've gone through for that, hasn't it? That could, that's something which is, you know, it might be the terminology or the language might be different for an organization, but the, the kind of process that you've gone through has been, it sounds like it's, you know, very thorough and kind of like through that, working that out and, and finding that out.


[00:39:07] Maren: Yes, I will say it's taken trial and error. So that, that's over the course of a year, all of my learning. So hopefully we've streamlined some of that for other folks. But, uh, I would say with all of this, because it's new. Um, expect a lot of, of trial and error and yeah, that, that design process, famous diagram that's sort of like node to node to node is definitely my experience with this. Marc, what do you think about roles and responsibilities for this? You've, you've been thinking about it for years.

[00:39:44] Marc: I, I agree with everything you said that was, uh, that was a fantastic summary. And I think that the most important learning there is it, there is no textbook for it, right? It's, it's like design. I mean, you can read books about design, but you can never apply design out of a textbook in any organization.

You always need to adapt it. It's, it's like, Oh gosh, try agile, right? by the book, everyone does their own flavor, their own adaptation to the organization. And it always needs like a spearhead in the organization who learns how to adapt the textbook approach. into the reality of the organization. And once you're there and you agreed on a language and you can create like a, like a playbook, how it works in your organization, then you can scale it and others have a much easier to adapt it.

Because you already learned how this clicks in your organization. But yes, the first steps are hard because you need to adapt it. But the same with bringing design into an organization, right? You always need to learn how this works inside of yourself. Okay. Okay.

[00:40:56] Maren: on that. Um, Towards the end of our pilot, um, one of the things we did start doing was putting together that internal playbook for our teams based on what we've learned and a key page within that playbook is, you know, what are our journey management roles and responsibilities?

Um, and two that I, two that I didn't mention that now that I have it in front of me, I can remember are, um, there needs to be some sort of sponsor for this effort. Um, whether that's at the executive level or even at the team level, um, it helps to have a sponsor who's responsible for things like unblocking time for this.

So I mentioned it's pretty time intensive at the beginning. You know, somebody who's able to block and tackle and say, you know what, this is their priority. Like you don't have these resources right now, um, has been really helpful for us. Um, Another piece that I didn't speak to, but I think becomes more important as you Start to think about, do we want to scale this beyond just one team?

If you're starting with a pilot in a small area, like we did is the journey management governance team. So the team that is actually responsible for things like what is your journey management playbook? What, who manages your journey management tooling? If you've invested in software for journey management, um, who manages your taxonomy within that tool?

There's, there's all these sorts of questions that start to emerge. And if you don't have. Some sort of centralized team and doesn't have to be a big team, doesn't have to be full time, but people who's who are responsible for, um, evolving your journey management practice, then I don't think you're going to get very far.

[00:42:44] Richard: Um,

[00:42:51] Marc: situation in your organization? And, and I see like two approaches there, right? It's either top down or bottom up. And usually you have one of them and you miss the other.

And it's really important that that becomes clear to yourself where you are and what you're missing so you can work towards it. Sometimes you have a skilled team who. maybe went through a training or they come from another organization, they know how it works, but they miss the buy in to do that. And, and the most important buy in is actually time, like being allowed to do that, become that, that it becomes part of your job description, that you have a block time, whatever it might be.

And again, at the beginning, it might not be full time, but it's important to have this time and to be allowed to do this. Um, in other organizations, they, We, we rather have the, the top down approach where you have leadership being fascinated by this approach and they want to have it, but they actually lack the skilled people who are both skilled and motivated to do that.

So understanding where you are and what you need and. Then come up with a strategy how to get the management buy in for example Probably it is like starting with a stealth project a project that doesn't appear on the radar of the organization Where you simply do this maybe as part of another project so you have a success case to show that this works within your organization, to show where it proves value in the organization.

Maybe that's needed to get the buy in. Or the other hand, maybe you first need to send people out to trainings, to other organizations to learn from that, to conferences, to meet other people and learn from that. And, and give them also the space to learn from that. Don't expect that if A team doesn't have experience with that, that they come up, that they can learn this within one or two weeks and, and, and then you have it.

Like it's, it's a marathon, not a sprint. And you need to start small and scale it up over time.

[00:44:52] Maren: Have you run a marathon?

[00:44:54] Marc: I tried. That's

[00:44:57] Richard: I've done half. Okay.

[00:45:00] Maren: take a sprint. Yeah.

[00:45:13] Richard: another question or another area or whether we want to wrap up or whether people have to go. I don't know. I don't know. What was your thoughts?

[00:45:23] Marc: you ask if people want more, they always say, yes, I'm in for another short question. Let's do a last short question. Otherwise it's such an abrupt ending.

[00:45:35] Richard: Yeah. I'm so, I'm so English. I'm sorry. Like time like that.

Go ahead. What's the question?

[00:45:48] Marc: I thought you had a bunch

[00:45:49] Maren: we have to ask the

[00:45:50] Richard: Oh, yeah. Okay. Okay. Yeah.

[00:45:56] Maren: I, I have one I'm very curious about. So journey management has come a long way in the last couple of years, as we've mentioned. What do you think journey management as a practice will look like in another three to five years?

[00:46:20] Marc: question, Richard, do you want to go first?

[00:46:24] Richard: Yeah. Maybe. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I'm just.

[00:46:26] Maren: transcript may or

[00:46:29] Richard: I kind of all, this is just, this is the way I kind of saw when I've seen your work, Marc, and when I've seen what you've been doing, Maren, and, and things is, is that in a way, this becomes the information system within a bit within a business and how, when you've got. AI being able to support and generate things and being able to support um, colleagues to be able to help them make better decisions is kind of, it's that kind of glue around what's happening and helping

[00:47:03] Maren: you will,

[00:47:13] Richard: these things. Cause I keep seeing the same, it's almost like perpetually within bigger businesses, we're always trying, always kind of trying to learn the same thing over and over again. But if you've got something, which is a journey, if you've got a set of journeys and you've got software and.

AI kind of pieces helping to connect those dots as service designers. That's what we've been trying to do And so I kind of see that journey management Helping to help a business make those decisions and inform them That's kind of where I see it potentially going in the next like four or five years

[00:47:55] Marc: I think we, we're going to see that it become. a new standard of decision making where it really helps people to make decisions. And I think customer experiment is just one aspect of it. Sustainability will be another big one and how to embed that also within decision making. And as, as Kim Goodwin once said, it's, the biggest question organization is not a design system.

It's a decision system of organizations. I think that's what we're going to be seeing now that it may be starting as Maron said it starts with like within product management within design and so on, but I think it's spreading and and what we see now it's that it's. Really getting, connecting the silos of the organization around a common context, around a common perspective, which is customer experience for now, or employee experience, or citizen experience.

But I think we need to add more aspects. to it, uh, to take better decisions in the future. I think we're on the, on the right path. I think that's what we're seeing, uh, in general for the approach. Yes, we see, uh, we see more and more vendors, uh, being specialized in that. We see, uh, investments in the area. Um, we see more and more companies adopting it.

Um, so I think what is missing is, um, is kind of bringing it all together in a, in a, in a more, in a way how we can share more our learnings. I'm talking about dedicated, um, podcasts, books, conferences on the topic where folks can exchange and it's starting. Um, we have like little community of practice here and there, but I think what, what we're going to be seeing is actually building the building of a whole community.

And it might start within design, but I think this community is way broader than that because it, it, it becomes actually a management practice.

[00:50:00] Maren: of

[00:50:02] Marc: even, even though I'm, I'm afraid of that because now everyone thinks, no, not another management approach. I don't want that leave me alone with that.

But I think it's going to impact how we work. And that's a fantastic vision to have and fantastic to see this happening.

[00:50:18] Richard: Can it be a collaboration approach? I heard something on LinkedIn today, someone talking about management versus collaboration, a collaboration approach rather than a management approach. Two for Thor, anyway. Two

[00:50:33] Marc: Yeah.

[00:50:34] Richard: How about you, Maren? Okay.

[00:50:38] Maren: So, I mean, I asked the question to pick your brains, but, um, I think I'm, I'm slightly less rosy than you, Marc, but I, I do see the future that you're painting. So for me, I think within the next four to five years, um, a couple of things need to happen for journey management to, you know, continue to be a thing.

The first is. More evidence of ROI and success. So one of the things that I've actually really struggled with is just finding case studies, examples, people talking about publicly how they're implementing this at their own companies. Um, it feels to me where. Very early days. And so just being able to look to exemplars from other areas, um, that, that really doesn't exist.

And I think speaks to Marc, what you were talking about with regard to building communities and podcasts, like that needs to happen or else we're all just going to kind of be fumbling in the dark and never, never be able to share those learnings. And so for me, like being able to point to a, particularly like a SAS case study, that's like, Hey, look, this big name tech company.

Just like us or that we aspire to be like is using this has found success Like that will help me get attention and right now it just it's not there or if it is like I haven't found it The second piece for me gets to what Richard you were saying, which is around the actual technology for Journey management right now is very very manual.

So all of these journeys are prioritized by people are Built by people are updated by people, right? From the feedback I've gotten internally in my own experience, that can't be the case in the future. And so the technology needs to catch up to the point where some of that can be automated. Um, and I think we have the technology.

It just needs to, to get built into the software, right? So those are the two things that for me. I'm looking for to happen in the next five years, and if so, then I think we have a real shot here. The last thing I'll say, and kind of stop talking on, is, um, the interest is there. So, people are really excited about this when they hear about it.

And they intuitively understand like, yes, we should be organizing teams around journeys. Yes. We should be pairing what customers are seeing with the data that we have all in one system and reviewing that

[00:53:23] Marc: Fantastic. Alright.

[00:53:31] Maren: it's just interesting to me. It's one of those few, it zeitgeist moment where. Everyone kind of says, yeah, I, I see the, I see the potential, right? So I think the next five years is understanding and sharing that potential across, across different practitioners.

[00:53:50] Marc: And I want to use this moment, um, as, as the two of you know, and some other knows there is a book coming out and the title will be, this is Journey Management Surprise. And I'm looking for, uh, case studies and, and Maru would be great to have you as a case in the book, but Anyone who listens out there, uh, please let me know if you want to contribute a case to this upcoming book, because as Mara said, that's really what we need.

And it's hard to get because organizations, the organization I work with, they see it as a strategic advantage and they don't want to talk publicly about it because they kind of think, yeah, but it's our thing. And then our competitors can do that. Yeah. You all know all this thinking and it's, it's not easy to get the cases.

We had the same with service design 15 years ago. And I think it's, it's a matter of time, but if we all push about it and we all talk about it, we're getting there. Um,

[00:54:53] Richard: Great stuff. So how, how can other people reach out to the likes of you? Like, how, how, what are people on LinkedIn? Um, X now, I don't say Twitter anymore, but it's X, isn't it? Um, how can people get hold of each of you or on me as well? I'm on LinkedIn, so you can find me on LinkedIn. I think Gerry will put those in the show notes, but Maren, how could people get in contact with you?

[00:55:20] Maren: Just LinkedIn. You will not find me on X, but LinkedIn is good. And I'm the only person in the world with my name. So very easy to find.

[00:55:30] Marc: Oh, lucky

[00:55:31] Richard: got my name as well, actually, on LinkedIn as well, I've got it, I managed to get it as well at the same time. So how about you Marc?

[00:55:39] Marc: LinkedIn is the best way to connect with me. Definitely. Um, I stopped using Twitter and it became like, I don't know. It's, it's not, not that active anymore. And, um, And, and, and regarding the book, uh, there's a book website. This is journey mapping, uh, journey management, and just

[00:55:56] Richard: When's the, when's it coming out?

[00:55:58] Marc: The book, when I'm done, you know, I want to, I want to end with that. Now, do you know that I'm doing a PhD? I'm officially a student and

[00:56:12] Richard: Didn't know that.

[00:56:13] Marc: now since 12 years, and I'm almost done with it since 10 years. And I just hope that, like, you know, if you followed the other books we've done, we always promised, yeah, it will be like a year or two and then we're done and then it always took like three, four, five years until the book came out, um, because sometimes You struggle with finding the cases like this case, um, or for other reasons, but what will happen is, um, I gonna put a call on this website.

Currently the website just links to my personal website, but I'm gonna call, uh, put a call out there for, uh, volunteers. And like the, this is a service I'm doing book. I hope to get, uh, 500 people from around the world who have some sort of experience in the field of. doing this, um, to review everything I and my co author wrote and contribute to it.

And like with TIST, we try to make this a book of the community, which is just starting to grow. So it will also depend on how much interest there is. in doing this book, how much time it takes for all of us to agree on the content of the book, and I hope that at least next year we can work on this co creative part of it and then publish it a year later.

I don't

[00:57:40] Richard: if you're interested, find that link in there, um, put your name down on there. So I think with that, that's it was, that was really great conversation. That was a nice, that was really just, just a really nice kind of conversation in the way of the float. And, um, it's really great to meet you, Maren.

And it's always a pleasure, Marc. So, um, I think, um, that's it from us. So thank you very much.

[00:58:07] Marc: Thanks for having me. It was really great.

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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Led by Richard McMurray, this community launches on April 1 2024. This community is perfect for anyone looking to learn more about Journey Management, and also connect with other people who are implementing this in their organisations.

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