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Get started by building a Journey hierarchy

Structure your Journey Framework so everything fits in.

journey hierarchy explained

Ready to get started with TheyDo? Great! The first thing you should do before anything else is to take a few minutes to create a journey hierarchy for your Workspace. Doing this first ensures all your journeys have a place to live and makes finding opportunities much easier.

In this article:

  • What is a TheyDo hierarchy?
  • What are the most common ways that CX Leaders set up their hierarchy?
  • Create different Boards with the same journeys
  • Which hierarchy is right for me?
  • Are there any common mistakes I should avoid?

What is a TheyDo hierarchy?

Depending on the system you’ve been using, your journey overview might have less in common with a framework and more in common with a whiteboard collection made of post-its – we’ve all been there! Luckily, TheyDo makes it easy to create a simple Workspace structure:

workspace structure theydo

Your TheyDo hierarchy is like an overview of a particular layer of customer experience for all your journeys that belong there, micro and macro journeys. Your hierarchy lives on a Board. The highest level item in your hierarchy contains multiple journeys that together reveal what the customer experience is like. A Journey contains all the insights and customer actions, collected in journey steps and phases.

✅ Best practice: start small! Try to avoid making big and complex journeys, but instead make journeys small. Think of a journey like a real customer completes a small objective in one go. Organising smaller journeys together makes it easy to manage them.

What are the most common ways that CX Leaders set up their hierarchy?

While TheyDo’s hierarchy is completely flexible, most of our customers find success with these three options:

cx management overview lifecycle

Option 1: ‘Customer’ Lifecycle Board

Chances are you are already familiar with the idea of looking at the Customer Lifecycle. In this hierarchy, journeys address why and how a group of customers (i.e. customers, clients or employees) are looking for, and using your products and services. Opportunities address how your company can help them achieve their goals in a better way in every stage of the lifecycle, across different journeys.

Example of a lifecycle setup:

Stages in the lifecycle are fairly consistent (the most basic version for stages are Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Onboarding, Use, Renew, Churn). It is easy to organise micro journeys in these different stages.

To create a consistent Workspace, we recommend creating Personas for each of your customer types. More about Persona development here.


Option 2: Goal-based Boards

This is the ultimate customer-centric approach to a journey framework, but also the hardest. If you are able to understand the core actions that drive your customer’s behaviour, you can set up your Journey Framework and assign different journeys as ways to customers complete their goals.

When you understand why customers do what they do, you can design all your journeys to help them complete their goals as fast and easy as possible. This is how working customer-centric is meant to be. While this might sound simple, especially for organisations that are designed inside-out (‘our process above everything else’) this is challenging.

Our advice if you already have a lot of legacy? See if you can start designing two versions of a Board. One that starts from the organisation’s setup and the other that starts with customer needs.

Option 3: Segment- or Product-oriented Boards

Especially in larger organisations, it can make sense to make a Board for each of the segments you offer products and services for. It works for instance when a company organisation offers products for dentists and hairdressers. They most likely have nothing in common. It doesn’t work when you sell the same service (i.e. Accounting software) to different sectors like Healthcare and Automotive. While they might look different at the surface, accounting get’s done in fairly similar ways across industries.

Example Board

sector based cx

Create different views with the same journeys

Here’s the real magic of TheyDo: you can organise the same journey on multiple boards. Why is this important? When you work with the ‘as-is’ lifecycle, to give an example, you want to show what the current customer experience is like. But what about the future?

Example: create a Future view

TheyDo makes it easy to create another layer within the same Board. You can add a second row, where you could add a future state for all the journey above.

future view compared to current journeys

Which hierarchy is right for me?

There’s no one correct answer – it depends on your team, your internal organisation structure, and your needs. However, there are a few criteria we use to help customers decide:

  1. Which version makes the most intuitive sense to you?
  2. How do you need to decide what to work on next later on?
  3. Which teams need to work with the same journeys or within the same board?
  4. What is the right level to see how your business is performing through the eyes of your customer?


Are there any common mistakes I should avoid?

  1. Avoid vertical-based Boards. Marketing / Sales / Finance, etc. This way you will keep the company silos to determine customer experience. While customer journeys flow across departments and different teams need to collaborate to help customers achieve their goals.
  2. Avoid making Lifecycle Journeys (use Boards instead). No customer goes through their lifecycle in one go, so it makes sense to manage a lifecycle with a series of smaller customer journeys.
  3. Avoid touchpoint-based boards. Most customers switch between devices and touchpoints today. It’s not uncommon for people to start searching online, find a product on your site, go to a physical location and order the product at the cheapest online retail location (which might not even be you).


Next steps:

Add a new Journey to your Board and set up a simple hierarchy outlining the major stages of your customer experience. Add a few phases, steps and customer insights to each journey to reveal the first glimpse of the customer experience on your board.

More on journey frameworks