Over the past few weeks, essential service providers have been working hard, under significant time pressures, to redesign their services so that they can continue to deliver on their mission in a Covid-19 world. It has been amazing seeing the new ideas and new ways of working this crisis has created. Now in Australia, we’ve been told this social distancing way of life is here to stay for at least the next 6 months. What should service providers be doing now to get ahead of the curve and to ensure their services are set up to deal with this new world and beyond? With so much change pushed upon us all, many organisations haven’t had the chance to think long term in regards to the changes they have implemented to their services. Many have had to re-design and make changes on the fly. So what’s next?
It is important that we start thinking about and preparing ourselves that these changes that Covid-19 has brought are here for longer than most of us originally thought. That starts with getting an understanding of how the changes to our services we have implemented so far, have and will continue to impact, those that we care for - the users of our services. One of the best ways we know to do this is through using the time tested tool of Journey Mapping. In the coming weeks, creating a Journey Map of your service experience from the perspective of both your organisation and the people your organisation cares for, will enable you to gather feedback and ensure your services will work for all stakeholders, for the next 6 months and beyond.
What is a Journey Map?
A Journey Map is a visual tool that displays the steps a service user takes when navigating the touch-points of the services provided by your organisation. It shows you in what ways the user interacts with these touch-points, how they feel about each touch-point, and highlights pain points and moments that matter. This information is then used by senior leaders to make informed decisions around service design strategy. In a time where reacting to a lot of change can feel like chaos, a Journey Map could give you much needed breathing space, and provide perspective that will allow you to make good decisions based on what you learn from the exercise.
Why use Journey Mapping and what will it give you, if you dedicate your resources to it?
It will help you to gain an understanding of how any changes you have implemented have impacted your service users. For a lot of organisations making changes to their existing services so that they could continue delivering them during Covid-19, had to be done quickly to ensure there was little to no drop in care. It’s now time to check-in. Are there any gaps? Does it work how the initial service did? Are there tweaks or major changes that need to happen if it is going to continue for a longer period of time? Are there any new needs or problems this crisis has created that didn’t exist before, that we now need to respond to?
It will help you to understand what it is like to navigate your services end to end in its entirety, not just at individual touch-points. If you modified your services based on individual touch-points and interactions, it’s important to think about how these individual interactions behave as a system and what sort of experience that creates for users of your services and your employees. Are things working fine, working fine for now or not working at all? An example of working for now - could be that it’s going to be hard for your organisation to sustain these changes for a longer period of time from a resource perspective. This is something you would want to highlight and start to think about how you could do things differently whilst still providing the right level of care.
It will help you to prioritise your service strategy initiatives for the next 6 months and beyond. Most organisations in the sector have limited resources at the best of times, right now even more so. A Journey Map will help you to understand what truly matters to the users of your services, to ensure you invest your resources in the right places to get those experiences right, and continue to provide a service that delivers what they need. With finite resources often we cannot do everything, so a tool like this will enable you to identify your top areas of opportunity and prioritise your efforts accordingly.