The next step is to define what the end-to-end process is when someone gets involved in your program.
This is your opportunity to formulate the experience you would like for someone to have from the moment they initially learn about the program, and signs up, all the way to being involved in the longer term.
Think about it this way – the smoother and more enjoyable the experience is for someone, the more likely they will want to be a part of the program, dedicate their time to it and help spread the word in their networks. Treat your program as a service that is offered to your target group.
The best way to identity the end-to-end experience is to map out the steps visually. The final product is often referred to as an experience map or journey map. A map will give you a bird’s eye view of everything that is required to offer a great experience, a smooth process for your primary group, and what can potentially influence an individual’s experience – both positively and negatively. Use the map to spot potential problem areas early and address them before they become an issue.
The value of this exercise is for you to take control and intentionally design the experience of the program. Don’t leave it up to chance, something may go wrong and it could potentially impact the success of the program.
How to get started
1. Map out what the top level stages are
Start by going back to who your target groups are.
As each target group has different needs, they will naturally want to be involved in the program in a different way. You will find that each group will need a slightly different journey. At times the different journeys will meet and overlap.
Start with one target group and refer back to what you have learned about them (e.g. their needs, frustrations, desires and expectations, as well as their value proposition).
Begin by listing out the top level stages of the journey. It will probably look like something like this:
- I find out about the program
- I learn more about the program
- I get involved in the program for the first time
- I contribute time and effort to the program
- I provide assistance in the long term
Adopt the mindset of the person who is engaging with the program throughout this exercise. It helps to articulate the stages from their point of view (first person narrative).
Remember that an individual’s journey often begins much earlier than you think, usually at the point when they are first made aware that the program exists.
We recommend writing out the stages on post-it notes or sticky notes (one stage per note) and sticking them up on a blank wall, board or whiteboard in the order they occur.
Complete this exercise for each target group and don’t forget to label them.
Again, you may find that the top level stages are very similar between the different groups. Remember that the groups will have different expectations and/or will want to benefit from the program in different ways.
In Melbourne, for example, the involvement (top level journey stages) of a commercial estate agent is different to someone who owns and lives in an apartment in a laneway.
A key target group for Melbourne’s program are those who currently own and reside in a building or apartment in a laneway.
By speaking to a number of different apartment owners and residents directly, we were able to identify the following top-level journey steps:
I become aware of the program
This is the first time the individual is made aware of the program.
I learn more about the program
An individual’s interest has been sparked and they are keen to learn more about what the program has to offer. Usually, at this point, they’ll want access to more information on the program.
I decide to get involved
The individual is ‘on board’ and they want to contribute to the program (financially or non-financially).
I need to involve others
The individual may not be a final decision maker in the laneway. For example, he/she will not be part of the Owner Corporation Committee, but needs to involve them in the decision making process.
I’m preparing the nomination
Everyone is ‘onboard’ and it is time to nominate the laneway. This is a basic application that one or multiple members of the laneway need to complete.
In Melbourne, laneway members expect to own the completion of the application. Ideally, it would include key decisions makers, such as members from the Owners Corporation Committee or the owner/landlord of the building (to establish a more compelling case).
Currently, laneway members are concerned that the application process will be complicated and time consuming. It is important to design an application process that is simple (to access and complete), easy to understand (using accessible language) and only asks for information that is required.
I’m submitting the nomination
Submitting the application for nomination is step one in a two-step process. Individuals should be able to easily submit their nomination online.
I receive the notification
Every application should be provided with a notification, whether they’ve been successful or not.
For a successful nomination…
I’ll catch up with the Council
The second step of the nomination process is an in-depth conversation with a program owner at the Council.
I’m part of the Council design process
Over a period of time, the design of the laneway is iteratively designed together between the Council and the members of the laneway.
I observe the construction taking place
The design is being installed in the laneway.
I’m part of ongoing maintenance
Ongoing maintenance and care of the greenery.
2. Identify the steps within each top level stage
The next step is to identify what happens within each top level stage. Within each stage a number of different steps and activities occur.
This is where you can spot potential bottlenecks or disruptions in the flow of the experience. Identify these as potential pain points in the experience. Wait until you’ve mapped out the entire process before jumping into ideas of how the pain point could be addressed. You may find that one solution can address multiple pain points or by fixing one pain point the other ones naturally disappear.
At the same time, it is worth highlighting points at which there are opportunities to delight. These are moments where you can positively surprise a program participant. These are often referred to as delight points. In the Melbourne context, a delight point example is that the program website offers an easy to use checklist on how to complete the nomination process.
Even though you are designing an ideal experience, be realistic. Remember who your target group is and how they would want to move through the process.
Follow the same principles as in the previous step:
- Work through the steps for one group at a time
- Articulate the steps from an individual's’ point of view (first person narrative)
- Visualise each step on a post-it note and map it under the top level stage
- Remember that each group will have differences and similarities in what steps they complete.
Once you have completed this exercise for each target group, identify where steps across the different groups overlap. This information will come in handy later on in the process when you begin to define your engagement strategy and support mechanisms.
I become aware of the program
“I hear about the program at a pop up event hosted in my laneway by the City of Melbourne.”
“I have a short chat with a member from Council about the purpose of the program.” Delight point – “It is great being able to chat to someone who is close to the program.”
“I take home a flyer to look at later.”
I learn more about the program
“A few days later, I come across the flyer.” Pain point – “I usually throw out flyers, I don’t like paper flying around in the house. Luckily, I kept it this time.”
“I decide to look up the website to learn more about the program.”
“I look up the success stories from past similar projects hosted in Melbourne by the Council.”
“I decide this is very interesting and want to chat to my neighbour about this.”
To be continued for the remainder of the journey.