Customer Journey Map Template

Customer Journey Map

In this article, let me introduce you to the Customer Journey Map template I have designed. This template will simplify the data gathering and visualization of required data attributes such as your persona's needs or motivations, important events, touchpoints, and actions. But first, let's start with the definition.

What is Customer Journey Mapping?

Customer journey mapping is the process of creating a customer journey map, which is a visual representation of your customer’s or prospect’s interactions with your product. This strategic exercise helps to think from customers’ or prospects’ perspectives and better understand their expectations, pain points, motivations, and needs. The journey map maps out all touchpoints from the first to the final touchpoint for both your existing and potential customers and is leveraged to visualize and improve the overall customer onboarding and experience.

How to create a Customer Journey Map?

  • Define primary and secondary personas for your product

A persona is a character profile or a fictional character. Personas help to understand the needs, experiences, behaviors, and goals of your users. If you want to create personas for your product, you may listen to my lecture in the online course.

  • Outline key events, persona's needs, and possible interactions with your product across different traffic sources
  • Create a comprehensive visual diagram that describes the journey of your primary and secondary personas

There are multiple visual tools that are available to create the journey diagram such as Mural, Gliffy, UXPressia, Lucidchart, Microsoft Visio, OmniGraffle, Miro, etc.

For outlining the required data in Step#2, I created the Customer Journey Map Template or a Canvas as below:

Customer Journey Map Template for an Existing Customer

Customer Journey Mapping Canvas for an Existing Customer

Enroll in the online course to download this canvas and learn more ->

Agile Product Planning: Discovery, Vision, Strategy, Roadmap - Create Business Models, Personas, Product Vision, Customer Journey Maps, Roadmap, and Product Backlog


Customer Journey Map Template for a Prospective Customer

Enroll in the online course to download this canvas and learn more ->

Agile Product Planning: Discovery, Vision, Strategy, Roadmap - Create Business Models, Personas, Product Vision, Customer Journey Maps, Roadmap, and Product Backlog


Watch the Customer Journey Mapping Lecture Here!

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Leadership Agility: What You Need to Know

What is Leadership Agility?

In today's complex, turbulent, and competitive business and technology environment, leaders need to master the skills required to become more proactive, collaborative, creative, and agile. Leadership agility is the core competency of agile leaders to make effective decisions, inspire others, bring others along, build the best team, be proactive, develop a culture of teamwork, define objectives, and contribute to strategic initiatives for the enterprise.


Leading with agility is an ability to step back, retrospect, gain a deeper perspective, make smart decisions, and take effective action. Leadership agility is not one single skill such as making effective decisions or inspiring people. Rather, it is a combination of skills working together that allows leaders to create the best customer and colleague experiences. 


"Agility is fundamental to leading a team through times of change." - Sandra E. Peterson


What drives Leadership Agility?

Leaders' agility is the core reason behind the success of any enterprise or business. Some of the common behaviors that drive leadership agility are listed as below:


Being a change agent

With this fast-paced environment, leaders need to accept that change is inevitable and be prepared to embrace change. For an organizational change to be effective, leaders should initiate and respond to change quickly. If people believe in your decision-making skills, they will trust your ability to drive the change. 


Employees need leaders who are committed to their success, seek feedback, make tough decisions, and communicate openly. Leaders who show personal commitment to change and inspire others to accept change play a critical role as change agents for the organization.


"If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." - Jim Rohn


Leading with Purpose

The Covid-19 pandemic has created an economic crisis in the world and has disrupted supply chains. The pandemic led to a global labor shortage as people started to quit their jobs or resign early. The thought of returning to the office and the daily commute is discouraging for many people. People are willing to walk away from their jobs, switch employment, or take early retirement. Many businesses have now permanently embraced remote work while others are preparing for a hybrid model of working. During these times, it has become essentially important to encourage a sense of shared purpose that brings meaning to their work. 


Agile leaders lead with a purpose that inspires and brings people together. Their vision is manifested in their actions and their goals. Leading with purpose energizes people, attracts top talent, and builds a strong sense of community. 


"Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion." - Jack Welch


Leaders should strongly believe in their vision. The vision should reflect organizational purpose, motivate colleagues, display the organization's values, and explain the WHYs.


Creating a culture of openness, collaboration, and trust

Every agile leader must foster an open environment of trust and collaboration where people can freely discuss their ideas, experiment with their designs, collaborate, have the freedom to make mistakes, and have fun together. 


The collaboration methods have changed tremendously due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, people could no longer have casual water-cooler conversations and thus started to explore available online tools that promote spontaneous ideation and collaboration. Most organizations adapted to new ways of working either remotely or in a hybrid environment. Some virtual collaboration tools that I found quite useful are Slack, Trello, Mural, WebEx Meetings, Zoom, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, Google Docs, One Drive, etc.  


"You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins." - Jim Stovall


Practicing faster decision-making

Faster decision-making is an important skill to make choices that have the best chance of leading to a favorable outcome. For making decisions faster, you need to set a deadline or block your calendar to help you focus on the problem while avoiding distractions. Second, stop being a perfectionist and try to be more realistic in your problem-solving approach. The truth is that you will most likely not have all information you think you need and will need to embrace uncertainty.


Next, you should understand when and which decisions can be decentralized to reduce unnecessary delays. Decentralized decisions reduce unnecessary delays and improve the flow of work. Agile leaders must understand when and which decisions they must decentralize. Frequent or time-critical decisions that need local context should be decentralized. Other decisions that are long-lasting and have a huge impact should remain centralized. 


Sometimes, the problem is having too much data or too many options to choose from. With so much data available at our fingertips, we tend to overthink and have analysis paralysis also called FOBO (Fear of Better Option). In his Ted Talk, Patrick McGinnis explains how to overcome FOBO and make faster decisions.


Embracing Lean-Agile Principles

The Lean-Agile Mindset is the combination of beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes of leaders who embrace the concepts of the Agile Manifesto and Lean thinking. Leadership agility requires leaders to embrace lean thinking and lean principles outlined by the House of Lean such as Kaizen (continuous improvement), respect for people, teamwork, innovation, sustainable flow, and Genchi Genbutsu (go and see). Lean thinking encourages leaders to embrace core values such as respect, integrity, empathy, collaboration, and teamwork. 


“Success today requires the agility and drive to constantly rethink, reinvigorate, react, and reinvent." - Bill Gates


Agile leaders embrace the values written in the Agile Manifesto and promote the 12 Agile principles across their teams. If you are interested to read about 12 Agile Principles, check out this article on Medium.


Check out my published books on Agile and Lean:


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7 Traits of High-Performing People

Do you see people around you who gets a lot done in much less time? People who are always looking for challenging opportunities? Such highly productive people are an asset to any organization. Over the past few years, I have been researching on the common traits, habits, and characteristics of such people around me. In this article, I have summarized my findings on the 7 traits of high-performing people.

Focusing on the ONE thing:

A super-productive person always seems to focus on the ONE thing at a time. As rightly written by Gary Keller, "Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work."

Multitasking is a myth. Research suggests that productivity can be reduced by 40% by the mental blocks created when people switch tasks. Super-stars focus their energies on the most important thing. They also tend to minimize the number of different things to work on at a given time.

Setting High Goals

Superstars set stretch goals for them and are always keen to challenge themselves. They aim to achieve the highest possible reward and recognition in their organization. They think BIG and are often self-motivators.

Building Expertise

A super-productive person continuously learns new skills and builds his or her expertise. He appreciates the need for continuous learning and believes in the concept, 'What got you here, Won’t get you there’.

Collaborating with Others

Star performers know the power of networking within and outside the organization. They tend to collaborate with like-minded people and share their knowledge freely with them. They empower others around them and help them to be more productive and successful in their careers.

Having Self-Discipline

Superstars are highly disciplined in life. They tend to resist temptations, adhere to the guidelines, and follow the goals that they set for themselves. With high self-discipline, they consistently drive great results.

Being Positive

Highly-productive people have a positive mindset for work and for life in general. They like to read new books, attend inspirational seminars, volunteer their time to local charities, etc. They surround themselves with positive like-minded people.


Star performers tend to be more creative than others around them. They look for opportunities to pioneer innovations in business processes and technical practices. They thrive better in a team that fosters a culture of innovation in an open and transparent environment. 


Be aware of these 7 traits of high-performing people and and conciously practice them at work. Feel free to share your stories of professional and personal success with me. 



Learn how to effectively manage work with Kanban. Read The Basics Of Kanban today.

Kanban is a popular Lean framework and a workflow visualization approach to managing any professional or personal work in an effective and efficient manner. The above book is written to provide you with a complete reference guide on Kanban to assist you on your journey towards success.


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5 Habits that Successful Leaders Have

Whether you are a business leader, an engineering lead, an entrepreneur, or an individual contributor, you might have noticed some common behaviors in people who lead. In this article, I will list down the 5 habits that successful leaders have in common.


  • Having a Positive Mindset

Great leaders have a positive mindset and they radiate positive energy to others. They strongly believe that they are they are confident, successful, and loved. Successful leaders read inspirational books, listen to motivational speakers, attend personal development workshops, and surround themselves with positive like-minded people. They hire right people on their teams, who not only have the right skills but also possess a positive mindset. Such positive minded people are self-motivated to perform at their best.

Check out the inspirational book, Think Positive, Speak Positive, Act Positive - A 3 Step Strategy to Embrace Positivity and Change Your Life.


  • Communicating Effectively

Effective communication is vital to the success of an organization. In 1938, Chester Barnard, the author of pioneering work in management theory and organizational studies, concluded that effective communication is the most important responsibility of leaders. Leaders listen effectively and encourage their team members to provide feedback. They keep an open mind, encourage collaboration, and promote consensus.


  • Empowering Others

Great leaders with a positive mindset empower the team. They target to create more leaders than followers.

The best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution, Bill Gates stated, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”

Leaders inspire their team, appreciate their work, help their team members to grow their visibility, connect them with right opportunities, and encourage them to fulfill their dreams. One of the richest American and successful industrialist, Andrew Carnegie, once said, “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.”


  • Continuous Learning

Great leaders always look forward to read inspirational books, listen to motivational speakers, read the autobiographies of other great leaders, and learn from successful self-development coaches. They often listen to audiobooks while driving to work. Leaders set aside some percentage of their earnings to invest in their learning. John F. Kennedy once stated, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”


  • Networking

Successful leaders spend their time and energy to build strong relationships with others. They like to connect with like-minded people. Leaders like to attend seminars, workshops, meetings, conferences, and any other public events not only to build their expertise but to meet new people who share their passion and purpose.

There’s a famous quote, Birds of the same feather flock together.”


These are the 5 habits that successful leaders have. If you have noticed other such common habits, leave your comments below.

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What is the Fishbone Diagram?

Some of you might have heard about the Fishbone Diagram for effective problem-solving. So, what is the Fishbone Diagram? The Fishbone or Ishikawa diagrams were created in 1968 by Kaoru Ishikawa who was a Japanese Professor at the University of Tokyo and was famous for his inventions for quality management.


It is a pictorial representation and categorization of possible known causes to a problem, usually gathered during brainstorming. Since the shape of the diagram resembles a fish skeleton,  it is popularly known as the Fishbone Diagram. This diagram is being used across several software and manufacturing organizations as a simple visualization tool to depict various potential causes to a problem. It provides a structured way to organize and represent data in a meaningful manner.  


This technique can be used whenever there are many possible causes to a problem or whenever there is a need to identify causes to a complex problem. One can apply the fishbone diagram method in solving day-to-day problems as well. Though this is mostly a group technique, this technique can also be used by an individual as a tool to structure thoughts and identify root causes.


Categories of a Fishbone Diagram

The most commonly used categories for identifying the potential causes to a problem are listed as below:

  • People
  • Methods
  • Materials
  • Machines
  • Measurements
  • Environment


The 'People' category helps us to identify all causes that are people related. Here's an example. One of the leading software organization was having major quality issues and one of the primary causes was the unavailability of skilled resources. When represented on a fishbone diagram, this cause, Unavailability of skilled resources, will appear under the ‘People’ category.


Any causes that deal with the process or method to perform an activity are listed under ‘Methods’ category. Primary causes such as Inefficient development processes, Unnecessary effort spent by the team, etc. are few examples of the causes that fit well under the ‘Methods’ category.


The ‘Materials’ category is specific to any material or parts required to produce a product. This category is more common in the manufacturing industry. However, within software organizations, this category can be used to group any causes related to external dependencies. For example, if you are making changes to a front-end application that calls a service to fetch some values and if you hit a roadblock, then a primary cause such as Unavailability of the dependent service will be represented under this category.


The ‘Machines’ category is used to group all the causes related to hardware, software, and tools. For example, one of the primary causes of poor system performance could be the Unavailability of additional servers. Then again, one of the primary causes of ineffective communication within an organization could be the Unavailability of collaboration tools. Such causes are usually grouped under the ‘Machines’ category on a fishbone diagram.


The ‘Measurements’ category is used to group the causes that relate to incorrect data to measure the quality or success of the product. Consider an example where your team has launched a new website but the product goal to reduce call volume to the service center is still not met. Now, if one of the primary causes to this problem is the Incorrect data gathered during user research of the product, then this primary cause will be represented under the ‘Measurements’ category on a fishbone diagram.


Causes that relate to an environment are usually grouped under the ‘Environments’ category. For the manufacturing industry, an example of an environment-related cause is Lack of appropriate weather conditions or location. For software organizations, an example of such a cause could be Instability of development, test or production environments.


Though the above categories are the most commonly used categories for a fishbone analysis, people often tend to brainstorm the categories that are relevant to the problem they are trying to solve.


Now that you better understand the Fishbone Diagram, learn the steps needed to conduct a Fishbone Diagramming session with your group. Also read about other problem-solving techniques such as Brainstorming, Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA), SWOT Analysis, 5Whys, etc. with my book, An Expert Guide to Problem Solving - With Practical Examples.


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