Service Mapping by Katherine Wastell and Louise Nicholas

In this MTP Engage Manchester talk, Katherine Wastell and Louise Nicholas, Head of Design and Product Designer respectively at Co-op Digital, tell us how we can use service maps to fix some of the many problems that we can face in the world of product.

The key points of their talk include:

  • What is a service map
  • Problems that service mapping can solve

Watch the video to see their talk in full. Or read on for an overview of their key points.

What is a service map

A service map is a physical recommendation of your whole product. It shows what a product is, what it could be in the future and the entirety of the end to end in the journey and customer experience. There are different types of service maps and each can be applied in different scenarios based on the type of organization. Ultimately a service is a collection of touchpoints, systems, user flows, metrics and also contains any knowledge an organization might have of a product or customer.

Problems that service mapping can solve

Sometimes the members of a product team don’t have a shared understanding. A service map can show the whole picture of the product with context. It can demystify the knowledge of the product across disciplines.  Your team may not be sure what the product is or whether there is one. A service map can show the potential directions where the team can go. They create a journey people can understand, making it possible to use the map for storytelling.

It can be a struggle for product teams to make decisions and set priorities. Service mapping allows you to protect the product team people’s biases and helps everyone to understand the consequences of decisions. Stakeholders can sometimes be detached from the timeline of the product. Service mapping makes research directly relevant to the product and allows stakeholders to give useful feedback.

The key takeaways from this talk are that service maps can improve communication within an organization and can get everyone on your team working with focus and clarity. They should be physical to make problems more visible. With each shareholder focused on their own goals, service maps make sure everything is documented and helps to remove silos.

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