As a product manager, you don’t want to only see part of something and use that information to make your decisions. In this ProductTank Edinburgh talk, Rita Cervetto, service design lead at Kaluza provides some insights on the benefits of service mapping in product discovery and how this can help you see the bigger picture.
Watch the video to see her talk in full, or read on for an overview of her key points:
- How systems thinking can help you
- Service mapping and the stages concept
- How to build a service map
How systems thinking can help you
Integrating systems thinking can help you to consider the whole parts of a product; accept non linearity; design process, networks and relationships. It provides a way for you to download your thinking to have conversations with others and build relationships, rather than only seeing them as objects.
Service mapping is a type of system map. By seeing the whole picture, product managers can use maps to optimize a service and improve the overall experience for all users both within and outside an organization.
Service mapping and the stages concept
Anyone can make a service map as Rita illustrates with an example of Alex, a product manager with a brief to reduce the amount of customers calling in to leave. It can be a struggle to keep everyone on the same page when doing product discovery without a map.
When doing product discovery with a systems map however, you can see the customer actions before, during, and after the process, what businesses do to support them, and the systems underpinning it all.
In her example, Alex was able to have better conversations with product, design, engineering and business about pain points, discovery and impact all by employing service mapping. It was also possible to gain domain knowledge in a short time and create a future map to show everyone how the service will work in the future.
Rita suggests following the stages concept to make the most of service maps. At the front of the stage are your users, the backstage are your business processes, and behind the scenes are the systems making everything work.
How to build a service map
To start building a service map you can follow these steps Rita lays out:
- Pick a very specific scenario that needs mapping
- Draw three lines to represent the frontstage, backstage, and supporting processes
- Label them based on what YOU want to understand
- Fill in your swimlanes:
i) Line things up in verticals
ii) Guessing is ok as you can use the map to ask questions.
The key takeaways from this talk are to think about your product as part of a system, and don’t be afraid to map.
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