Ideation and planning for the right product / service

Part 3 of how I’ve introduced and helped to institutionalise UX strategy, research, and design at St John New Zealand


(“Minimum viable” project phase story below - full story in draft, but always ready to tell it over a cuppa)

Ideation workshopping the ideal future customer journeys that’ll span as many channels and touchpoints as necessary along with service-side support.

Ideation workshop format brought to St John by my national CX & brand manager and led together with all of the digital transformation programme and first aid training business leadership.

Attempting to identify and prioritise the most critical needs and paths (a.k.a. “red routes”) vs the nice-to-haves

A largely failed attempt at helping to prioritise our MVP story map backlog by identifying the “red routes” (i.e. critical tasks) per training persona. This mapping, originally done with sticky notes, ended up being more of an exercise to cement our shared understanding of our different personas’ needs.

User story mapping to plan the minimum viable product (MVP) sprints and deliverable releases (with ample room for iteration and pivoting) while maintaining alignment with our customer, digital, and brand strategies

Leading the collaborative workshop week to translate all of our training ideation workshop and research insights into a user story map that would become the basis for our initial work backlog spanning the end-to-end customer and service journeys (i.e. more than the digital channels). Without knowing it at the time, how I was guiding the creation of this comprehensive map wasn’t far off from defining a future service design blueprint.

The end result of our story mapping workshops after I added these notes to storiesonboard.com to be our big picture backlog for this training service covering what we needed to provide both internally and externally. However, it admittedly became harder to manage as it landed on my shoulders since it was my idea to manage a backlog in this way when the developers wanted to plan small sprints versus larger capability releases like I had doing for the leadership team. The developers also were more used to specific requirements than open-ended user stories which hampered their ability to understand what they needed to work on next and what to do, so our programme brought in more BAs and project managers to take over this side of the Agile management process to much relief.

Calculating and presenting the digital transformation benefits up to the executive level.

Partnered with the BAs to calculate our targeted digital transformation programme’s benefits to the business based more specifically on my internal service observation research than external customer impacts which were harder to quantify given a lack of any usable metrics and reports from the existing digital systems (e.g. conversions, courses booked, etc). We have since integrated Hotjar and Google Analytics into our new website along with backend systems that were purposefully chosen by the architects to help capture and retrieve reportable data.