February 25

How to Create a User Journey Map and Lead a “How Might We…?” Exercise (with examples)

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As intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs we want to find and solve the big, thorny problems that trouble our customers.


Because in doing do we give ourselves the very best opportunity to build a product and grow a market that will truly change people’s lives and (hopefully) deliver huge rewards for ourselves too.

The big challenge though is that, usually, these kinds of problems are problems that our customers don’t even know they have!

Think about many of the biggest success stories of recent years… Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, DropBox, Slack, TikTok. If you had surveyed people and asked if they needed yet another place to share photos, or another messaging app, or a way to share files instead of email… not many would have put that at the top of their priority list.

And yet these solutions have generated billions for their creators and investors.

So how do you go about discovering this kind of latent need in your customer base?

Well one way is to create a User Journey Map and pair that with a How Might We…? exercise.

What is a User Journey Map?

A User Journey Map tells the story of a user’s experience as they encounter your problem space.

When you create a User Journey Map your goal is to find pain points (think opportunities!) that are ripe for change – and where you can make most impact.

A user journey map often looks something like this.

User Journey Map

There’s no need for any specific, formal diagramming technique. Just sketch out something that you and your team can understand.

What is a How Might We…? Exercise?

A How Might We…? exercise is a great activity to run as a group activity with your team. It quickly gets everyone creatively and collaboratively solving problems (rapidly pushing through the analysis paralysis stage).

Start with your User Journey Map, review the diagram and look for pain points. Having a journey map in front of you makes it much easier to identify potential pains and opportunities for improvement versus, say, working with a page of text.

Note down all the potential pain points or questions you can think of.

Pain Points

Then, reframe each of the pains with “How might we…?”

Reframing questions and pains shifts you and the team into solution mode.  It has the effect of breaking down the problem space into smaller, more manageable chunks.

How Might We...? Example

Step-by-step: How to run your own How Might We…? Exercise

  1. Write down your vision and user scenario to remind everyone in the team of the context you are working in.
  2. List out all the actors in your scenario – that is, all the people that are involved in the User Journey Map
  3. Identify the start and end point.
  4. Fill in the steps along the way.
  5. Review your map and note down pains and questions
  6. Finally, reframe with “How Might We…?”

A final tip: don’t make your User Journey Map too big. Fifteen steps is a reasonable maximum.

If You Like This Then…

You’ll love Intrapreneurship Mastery – our complete soup to nuts programme to take your idea and develop it into a launch-ready product or service. Go check it out 🙂

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