If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going…

Image courtesy of somervillebikes
Image courtesy of somervillebikes

Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

This is true in life and in any project you undertake. It’s also true in journey mapping.

I’ve seen folks dive into mapping exercises only to get stopped in their tracks because they hadn’t done two crucial things before they got started: they didn’t identify the objectives for the map, and they didn’t define its scope.

Let’s start with objectives.

Like any other research you do, you must start from the beginning, knowing the why. Why are you mapping? What are your objectives? What value will the map bring to the organization? What are your intended outcomes? What changes will you make as a result of its findings? And then… are you prepared to make those changes? How will the outputs be applied? And by whom?

Here are some examples of objectives. Map to…

  • Better understand the customer/employee experience
  • Identify where you’re falling down
  • Improve the customer/employee experience
  • Identify key moments of truth – those make or break points
  • Identify additional areas to solicit feedback/listen
  • Look for underperforming channels
  • Train and educate employees so they can deliver a better experience
  • Develop new products
  • Move into new markets
  • Plan a new communication program or campaign

I think you get the idea. Be sure to outline your objectives and then communicate them to key stakeholders. Build those objectives into your story as you share the map with the organization.

Yogi also said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

So you start mapping, and then you find yourself at a particular step in the journey saying, “If this, then that.” You came to a fork in the customer’s journey. Which way should you take the map? Or should you even have to decide, i.e., just map all of it, every variation?

If you clearly define the scope of the map, if you define your start and end points from the outset, you won’t have to wonder which way to go. Map Point A to Point B now and then come back and map the forks, or the micro-journeys, later.

Other items to consider when you’re defining scope:

  • For which persona are you mapping?
  • Which channels will you include in the map?
  • What other aspects are you mapping?
    • Are you only mapping what customers are doing, or also what they are thinking and feeling?
    • Are you mapping onstage and backstage, or just onstage?
    • What do onstage and backstage encompass?
    • Are you mapping who owns the step/touchpoint?
    • etc.

Answering these questions will help you determine the best framework (columns and rows) to use. There are a lot of frameworks out there, but once you define objectives and scope, you’ll likely create your own framework.

We’re lost, but we’re making good time.” -Yogi Berra

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