“Super” service blueprint

A service blueprint is typically a design deliverable, showing a user’s journey, the touch points they interact with in whatever channels (web site, application, retail store, call center, etc.), and the behind-the-scenes activities that need coordinating to make that journey a smooth one.

A service blueprint can also be a research deliverable, describing the existing journey and where that coordination breaks down, what the touch points are and whether they are succeeding or failing, etc. usually you’d just do a user journey for this, but sometimes the additional investigation in to the channels and coordination is helpful.

But what if you have not just one user but multiple players interacting with one another? What if you need to understand how all of these players interact so you can decide who to serve, for whom what you already have would be useful, and where the holes in your product are?

Enter the “super service blueprint”. It’s not really a service blueprint as the focus is on the various interacting players you are investigating. But understanding their collective processes and interactions will give you a clear look at the process you’d like your product to be a part of. A clear map of these allows you to locate little chunks of user value that your product already provides and identify opportunities in the collective process to intervene on behalf of one or more users.

You can also see which of the players you are serving the most and the least, just by looking at which users have the build of the interface capabilities and which users have more of their goals and informational needs met across the timeline.

The super service blueprint pictured here is the product of an investigation my team did into the Cayuse Vivarium operations products and the handful of different user types who either use them , might use them, or were part of the processes that we intended to help along via our products. This super service blueprint led to a re-thinking of the product strategy, since the investigation revealed that there’s a key user involved in nearly every phase of the overall process, and we could serve that person especially well by reorganizing and improving several software capabilities we already had somewhat in hand.

This super service blueprint involved nine group interviews with different large-institution vivarium operations teams throughout the United States, the production of seven intermediate service blueprints, and a lot of cleanup to make sure it was as communicative as possible. It remains a critical resource to the product management team today.