Being Curious

How to… do a user journey workshop

Understanding and improving a process is easiest together with the people, who work with it every day. How to… execute a workshop using personas and user journeys to facilitate the generation of process improvement ideas, you can find in my template, which you are free to use.

In business life I often come across managers who decided about a process they are not affected by. When theoretically designing it, it can look very pretty on slides. In real life, the beauty can be tainted because theoretic assumptions may miss points, prove wrong or have changed over time.

When we have a process in place and realise, that there are needs for improvement, we use personas and user journeys to put ourselves in our user‘s shoes (or even have the users with us at the table) and go through the process. Usually we do this in a two hour workshop.

With the persona (a fictional, neutral representative for a typical group of users) we create a common perspective everyone can relate to. No real person is put into the flashlight and a clear scope and scenario without edge cases can be defined.

This persona is then sent on a journey through the process. Together with the workshop group, we discuss every process step, what our persona has to do here and how happy they are with this step. If they lack happiness, we put ourselves in their shoes and think how we could improve the process for them.

Once we are through all steps, all improvements are collected and brought into relation on an effort-impact matrix. The ideas with highest impact for our user and least effort, are the ones which bring quick wins. To bring them to life, will have a sensible improvement for the users.

Effort / Impact Matrix

Facilitating a two hours workshop to create the persona and go through the journey is not hard (depending on the work group, of cause). In order to make the start easy from planning the meeting until the follow-up, I created a How to… in Trello and a template for the workshop in Google docs. Take a look and try it out.

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