During the last exercise of story mapping I facilitated , while repeating the question “What will this user do next?What are her options?” I realized that the user experience discovering approach that brilliantly story mapping implements is so close of Lean Gemba walk. Both are about understanding what matters for those that will be most impacted by our initiative : the user. Or let’s say in the Lean Way “The Customer Obsession”.
Here is the thought in a couple of steps
“Who will use the software : We are happy to present the characters ! “
Gemba walk starts value discovery and value creation in an entreprise end-to-end activity: discover what is the value in our activity and why ? An for sure, value is linked to the benefit that that activity will bring to the user. Fist of all : “who are you my customer ? “What is your day made of ? “
And then there is the “persona” game, the story mapping preliminary to understand how “profiling” the application user will help us understand the best solution that matches her behavior.
Story mapping is relying on option of scenarios in regards with idenftied profiles of users.
” When entering the tool what will the user do first? “
This is how story mapping activity starts. After the first step , what are the options for the next one? What does this choice mean if we look closer?
Performing a Gemba walk , from a different perspective, is a great tool to understand what happens on the (value) production chain. Now, we need to agree that value is the usability of the product for the one we are trying hard to build it ( dear user, customer, I do love you!). And we are going to see asking the same type of questions :
“What happens now?” And next?” What are the problems that you may observe?”
Gemba walk and Story mapping are both extraordinary tools to reinforce understanding or , how a brilliant lean expert said once “extraordinary tools for learning to see”.
User experience and Value Stream : The complementarity
Or put it in anoher way , t might sound like this : ” How will you use my product will help me improve the way I’m building it”
When the the story mapping exercise was over, I was surprised of this elegant evidence:
“Story mapping is a A Gemba Walk to gain user experience on the software I’ll be building“