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The Most Important Question: Who’s on your Journey Mapping Team?

Jim Tincher Jim Tincher 04/16/2019
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Note: We’re celebrating the upcoming launch of our new book, “How Hard Is It to Be Your Customer? Using Customer Journey Mapping to Drive Customer-Focused Change,” by Mapper-In-Chief Jim Tincher and B2B Practice Lead Nicole Newton. In the book, we introduce five journey mapping questions to answer as you launch your customer journey mapping effort.

First, Jim walked through “What’s the Business Problem or Opportunity?;” Nicole introduced the topic of “What is the Right Journey?,” Jim wrote about “Who’s the Right Customer?” and Nicole documented how to select the right approach.

Interested in the five journey mapping questions? Watch the intro to our YouTube series on the topic here.

Now we come to the fifth question, and, as they say, “last, but not least,” but in our case, the last question is actually the most important to answer. That’s because we’re working to ensure that journey mapping drives change, but we know that usually, it doesn’t.

The last question is: What’s the right journey mapping team?

The reason selecting the right team is so important comes down to change management. If teams don’t feel they’re part of the process, then they won’t own the insights. And if they don’t own the insights, they’re unlikely to own the action.

We used two primary resources when we built the journey mapping best practices outlined in our book: Our survey of journey mappers and the ADKAR change model.

Our survey showed that an intuitive approach to journey mapping failed to drive action 2/3 of the time; it also identified the top three factors of success:

  1. Involve a broad, cross-functional team;
  2. Involve customers;
  3. Select the right journey to map.

The team is the most important factor, but we answer that question last because who you involve varies based on the journey and customer selected. You would involve different teams for an onboarding journey than you would an invoicing one. You’d also use a different team makeup if you’re mapping your distribution partners (e.g., independent agents, retailers, etc.) than for end customers or employees, so it’s last.

We bumped this up against the ADKAR change model by Prosci. The model has five requirements for change:

  1. Awareness – teams must be aware of the need to change.
  2. Desire – teams must want to change.
  3. Knowledge – teams must know what to change.
  4. Ability – teams must have the ability to change.
  5. Reinforcement – the need for change must be continually reinforced by leadership.

We find that too many programs focus on Awareness and Knowledge – “You need to change, and this is what you need to change.” That rarely creates the desire to change.

Imagine if your journey mapping finds that your communications are confusing, and your communications team members don’t understand what is required of them. One client found exactly that. In fact, their materials were written at the tenth-grade reading level, causing many customers to have a hard time understanding. If they hadn’t included the legal team in their journey mapping, they would have had a hard time getting their attention.

We made sure to include one of their lawyers as part of the team. As a result, she learned first-hand about the communication problems and became a strong partner in streamlining and simplifying the messaging.

Key Teams and Roles

We work with our clients to break participants into three teams:

Team Role
Day-to-Day Project Team Small weekly team meeting to knock down barriers and ensure continual progress. This team works within Securian to acquire necessary customer lists, existing research, and operational data.
Journey Mapping Action Team  The core team who will take action. This team participates in the kickoff, reporting, action planning meetings, and helps build the hypothesis maps. This team will include representatives from all areas that will be impacted by the results of this project, such as finance, IT, and technical support.
Sponsor Team These leaders participate in stakeholder interviews and receive updates as the project accomplishes key milestones.


The sponsor team involves more than just the person paying for the project; it includes all leaders whose help will be needed once the project is complete and action is needed to improve the customer experience.

Once the sponsors are identified, we look next to the Action Team. This is typically 15-30 people from across the organization, including representatives from all the departments impacting the journey.

Before commencing with mapping, take the time to consider who you need to bring along the way, and ensure they’re part of your teams. This will be the most important decision you make to ensure you drive action at the end of mapping.

Would you like to learn more about how to drive change through journey mapping? In addition to our book, we’re also hosting three webinars on journey mapping success:

  • The Untold Secrets of Journey Mapping, May 2, Register Here.
  • Five Questions to Ask to Ensure Your Journey Mapping Drives Customer-Focused Change, May 21, Register Here.
  • Using Journey Mapping to Kickstart Customer Experience Success, May 30, Register Here.

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