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Activate Those Customer Journey Maps

One way to ensure that your organization gets ongoing value out of a journey mapping effort is equipping teams with a toolkit of exercises that they can use either individually or as a group to identify opportunities and ideate actions. Exercises and activities make engaging with the maps fun, focused, and action-oriented and increase the likelihood that maps are integrated into work on an ongoing basis.

We rely on a lot of different exercises and often develop custom exercises for our clients. We recommend equipping teams with at least one of each exercises for immersion, ideation, and prioritization.  These are just a few of our favorite exercises:


The first step we a take is getting teams immersed in the consumer journey so they can build empathy for customers. This immersion is the foundation for the rest of the exercises.

Gallery Walk
We love this exercise for immersing teams – it works both in-person and online. If you are in-person you can print out poster sized journey maps and display them in a conference room or other accessible space in an art gallery style. If you are remote, you can set up a virtual gallery using tools like Miro and Mural where you post digital versions of the maps for teams to peruse. In addition to setting up the gallery we also prepare workbooks for teams with places to take notes as well as a simple exercise where we ask them to jot down things that they were surprised to learn about the customer journey and also areas of opportunity that strike them as interesting.


After teams have been immersed in the customer journey, we want them to use what they learned about the consumer and their experiences to start ideating around opportunities.

10 in 10

This is a quick ideation exercise that gets the top ideas off everyone’s mind to open-up space for other ideas. After teams have immersed in the journey maps, give them 10 minutes to come up with 10 ideas. Each idea should have a headline that captures the essence of the idea and outline any additional detail or explanation in a few concise bullets. Ideally each idea will fit on a sticky note.

Amplify and Flip

A great exercise that can be done either individually or in a group. Teams use the maps to identify what is and isn’t working about the customers experience. They take what IS working and think about what strategies they can leverage to amplify those wins. How can they make it even better for customers and the organization. Next, they take what ISN’T working and think about strategies that could help flip those and turn them around for customers and the organization.  We like to use big flip charts (either virtual or IRL ones) and have one flip chart for the Amplifies and one for the Flips and have teams capture their ideas on sticky notes.

The Award

A visioning exercise that gets teams thinking about a future where they have implemented a strategy based on an opportunity from the journey map. They won an award because the strategy was so innovative or creative. The team fills out a flipchart that details why they won the award and the steps they took to get there resulting in a set of ideas and strategies. We have created a worksheet and instructions that you can download for free.


Finally, after the teams have immersed and come up with lots of great ideas, it is time to prioritize which ideas to take to the next step.

Effort and Impact

This is an approachable exercise that is easy for teams to work on together. You set up a 2×2 matrix with the axes being business effort and impact for consumer. Then teams gather all their ideas and start placing the sticky notes in the quadrants. After all the ideas are placed the team can focus on the key quadrants where they might want to take the ideas to the next step.

These are just a few ideas to get your started. We have lots more exercises that we are always happy to share so reach out if you want to talk about how you can put journey maps to work with your teams!

Sara Dougherty

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