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Gaining buy-in from stakeholders for a journey mapping exercise as a business analyst requires careful planning and clear communication. Journey mapping isn’t widely considered an exercise for requirements gathering; it’s viewed as more of a UX tool so you have to build trust in the process. To do this, you should make sure that stakeholders should know what to expect during the workshop as well as make sure they have an understanding of the next steps, or how the information gathered during the workshop will be used.
In my prior blog post, I mentioned the importance of a presentation to explain journey mapping. The presentation should clearly outline workshop goals and include an overview of the journey mapping process, as well as an explanation of how it informs deliverables such as requirements, user stories and task flows.
It’s important to understand that explaining how the journey mapping exercise supports requirements gathering and user task flows is key to gaining full buy-in. Participants may be familiar with, or may have even conducted journey mapping workshops and may fail to make the connection with the method as it relates to requirements and the business analyst’s role. Taking the time to explain and answer questions prior to beginning the exercise will increase the stakeholder and participant comfort level with the activity.
After you’ve explained your goals for the journey mapping workshop, you can confidently begin your work. As you are conducting the exercise, keep these things in mind:
- As participants map the user’s journey, the task flow will emerge. This is a great opportunity to discuss various user paths and decisions. Where should the user go next? What information do they need at what point to complete a task?
- During the discussion of user task flows, user requirements become apparent. All are able to clearly see the points of decision the user will face in the application. A good question to task at this point it what options do we want to present to users, and when? Why are these good options? Are there other options that could/should be explored?
- User stories will also emerge as you complete the journey mapping exercise. These user stories can be discussed and prioritized, or held
Following the journey mapping exercise, priorities can be discussed and solutioning can begin with the design team. You will find journey mapping to be a very useful tool for aligning expectations on all sides.