Customer experiences are increasingly complicated—with multiple channels, touchpoints, contexts, and moving parts—all delivered by fragmented organizations. How can you bring your ideas to life in the face of such complexity? Rosenfeld Media – Orchestrating Experiences
We talked through this challenge with Patrick and Chris in our Slack channel today and it was an enlightening session. The questions were excellent, the advice practical and I came away feeling inspired to implement some changes into my own workplace.
If you didn’t make the session because you didn’t know about it, make sure you join our community to get updates of upcoming sessions.
If you’re interested in seeing what we discussed, or you want to revisit your own questions, here is a full transcript of the chat.
He’s a huge fan.
@sarah.johnston asked… It seems like getting everyone in the same room together for a workshop when working on complicated experiences with a collaborative cross-functional teams seems like the key ingredient to success. I wonder if you could achieve the same success when you work with cross-functional teams that all live remote in different cities…
Often, the artifacts are tested out as a tool before being completed. It’s basically usability and usefulness testing. With experience maps, I often make an initial version, use it in a workshop, refine it, and then distribute with instructions on how to use in strategy and design activities. Testing it out also is a way of teaching people how to use them.
The other appraoch is to create living documents rather than static ones. I’ve been experiement with digital tools that position blueprints or storyboards as objects that dowstream requirements and design artifacts are connected to.
When a culture is not used to collaborating, workshops can be challenging. It’s like going to the gym for the first time after sitting on the couch and watching TV for year.
With workshops, you have to design the experience before, during, and after to carefully set expectations on the benefits of blocking out a day and getting away from their devices. You have to ask for feedback throughout the session to ensure people are having a good experience. And then gaving participants help spread the word that’s it worth the time.
I’ve not had to develop specific KPIs. Typically, the word of mouth after a well designed workshop helps get more people interested in being in the next one.
Often things—maps, blueprints, storyboards—are made to document previous activities, but they are also props to engage stakeholders in downstream activities. So, you have to think about not just how the artifact is used to understand previous thinking, but also as a way to support the next steps of design process.
e.g. Non-profit would be different than Oil & Gas corp.
To some degree, top down helps not in any particular instance of collaboration, but culturally in that each discipline should be experimenting with its practice to find new ways to be more effective and/or efficient. If there isn’t support/expectation of continually improving how you work, then you do risk resistance when you try to.
The other thing to keep in mind is to be clear about which methods are to support what outcomes. To zoom out and look at the journey of the customer when the product team focuses on one small part does require the right buy in for the value of zooming out.
Experience mapping is a very felxible approach that is about experience over time. As long as you have a person who experience crosses channels and touchpoints and whose context is greater than just the product or service (it always is), then experience mapping can be valuabel exercise.
I think yes, it can be — the key is if there’s a journey to support. For example, pure digital products that want eyeballs — like Twitter, or Slack, etc. — may/may not need a journey map. But things that have operations, or an array of touchpoints (digital app, website, mailed bills, customer service) often can benefit from understanding the experiences people have with the product/service over time. It may not always feel like a linear journey, but it can benefit mapping out what people are thinking, feeling, and doing at different times.
Any last questions? Now’s your chance…
Before moving on to the last workshop of the book, I’d like to put in a good word for remote workshops. While it’s more effective to get people in a room together to collaborate, your timeline or budget may not accommodate this idea. Here are a few tips when you need to go remote:
Keep it hands on. While remote collaboration tools (in which you type and move objects around digitally) have some benefits, they lack the tactile interactions that come with analog tools. A better approach is to use video to see one another and show your work, while still having people work through exercises with paper tools.
Give yourself more time for activities. Everything takes longer to do in remote sessions due to lagged communications and synthesis steps that require more time in this format. You may have to split what would be one in-person workshop into a couple of shorter sessions to keep peak focus, energy, and attention.
Design templates. Without you in the room, people need more instruction and structure to work effectively. For this reason, avoid blank sticky notes as much as possible. Design simple templates with instructions that help people understand the form their ideas should be documented in.
Leverage mobile phones or scanners. Many ideation methods follow a generation and then evaluation cadence. In remote sessions, have participants work individually and then send in photos or scanned documents of their work. Give them a break, and then magically print and cut their work and place it on a large board. You can then walk through the items on camera, moving and organizing them as people give input and see the results.
Train cofacilitators. If possible, assign and prep cofacilitators at each stakeholder location.
It depends on the session, but a minimum is prepping them for what inputs are being leveraged for the session. Distributing prior research, for example. Sometimes, I also assign so solo activities to bring to the session. Such as bringing in ideas based on a prompt.
Service Design Thinking
Service Design Doing