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6 Tips for setting up a Journey Framework


Setting up a framework is easy when you follow these rules of thumb.

We’ve helped to set up countless frameworks at TheyDo, and we’ve summarized the most important tips so you don’t have to. These are as follows:

  • #1: Scope your frameworks right

  • #2: Keep overview by limiting the number of boards and stages

  • #3: Match your board and stage scope to your journey scope

  • #4: Split up your frameworks into boards and stages based on customer jobs

  • #5: Use a consistent naming format

  • #6: Set up a framework as a co-creative exercise

Kaspar explains on the basis of various examples what the Journey Framework is all about.

#1: Scope your frameworks right

If you’re an organization with multiple products, countries, domains, or brands, you might be wondering which to include in the same workspaces or framework, and which to create separate workspaces or frameworks for.

  • If Frameworks will have overlaps in opportunities and solutions, create them in the same workspace. The power of TheyDo lies in working ‘across’ journeys, for example by defining opportunities and solutions that have impact across multiple journeys or frameworks. So if you anticipate that different frameworks will have overlapping opportunities or solutions, it’s a great idea to build those different frameworks in the same workspace. If not, creating separate workspaces might be a better option; this gives you more control over who gets access and also helps to separate journeys, opportunities and solutions, which improves overview.

For example: Imagine a train company that wants to map a national and international train branch, as well as their employee journey. The national and international train domains are similar enough to group in the same framework: the boards and stages will be very similar, since the jobs customers perform are pretty much identical. The employee journey however will consist of a completely customer jobs, and will have little overlap with the train journeys in terms of opportunities and solutions. It will also be worked on by completely different teams. In that case, creating a different framework is in order, and possibly a different workspace as well.

  • Create frameworks for categories rather than single services or products. This helps when you have many products or services within the same category, like FMCG companies for example. Instead of creating a framework for a specific type of shampoo, simply create a framework for all shampoos. You can distinguish individual shampoo experiences using different journey lanes.

  • Combine multiple products, countries, domains, or brands in the same framework if their boards and stage structures will be 80% similar. See the example below. If lifecycles don’t match so much, it’s probably better to create separate frameworks; trying to force-fit different products and services into the same framework will probably overcomplicate things.


For example; A company offering a budget and premium airline brands or propositions can easily map these in the same framework. That’s because the steps and jobs are pretty much similar; regardless of being a budget or premium brand, you still have to go to the airport, drop off luggage, go through security, etc. It’s in the experience (the journeys) of those steps and jobs that the differences can be found. As can be seen in the example above, board lanes can be used to distinguish and compare those different experiences (and journeys) within the same framework.

#2: Keep overview by limiting the number of boards and stages.


Frameworks can be seen as the ‘birds-eye overview’ of your full customer experience. To keep this overview, it helps to build them up with the right level of detail: too much detail in your boards and stages and you lose the big picture, too little detail and your overview becomes too generalized to say anything specific. Therefore we would recommend to:

  • Subdivide a framework into max. 12 boards: We recommend to split up a framework into a maximum of 12 boards. This helps to keep overview and keeps boards manageable. If you end up with more, consider if you can merge boards.

  • Subdivide a board into max. 8 stages: Similar to the number of boards, we also recommend splitting any board into max. 8 stages. If you end up with more, consider if you can merge stages, move stages to another board, or split up the journey board.

#3: Match your board and stage scope to your journey scope.


Since you’ll be using the framework to ‘park’ your journeys, it helps to match the scope of your boards and stages to the scope you use for macro and micro journeys. This ensures that your journeys will fit your framework like a glove. Therefore:

  • Scope boards so that they perfectly ‘fit’ macro journeys. You should be able to have one high-level ‘macro’ journey that spans across all stages in a board.

  • Scope stages so that they perfectly ‘fit’ micro journeys. You should also be able to fit micro journeys into stages perfectly. For more on micro journeys, read our guide on micro and macro journeys.

#4: Split up your framework into boards and stages based on customer jobs

We recommend that you make sure your boards and stages are based on customer jobs. This helps to make sure they are based on the perspective of your customers. For each board and stage, ask yourself; what is your customer trying to achieve there?

  • Each board should result in your customer accomplishing one broad customer goal or job. Since boards are a high hierarchy level of your framework, these jobs can be described very broadly; ‘I onboard’, ‘I use’, or ‘I manage’ are perfectly fine.

  • Each stage should result in your customer accomplishing one more detailed customer job or goal. You can be a bit more specific or detailed with your customer jobs at this hierarchy level, as opposed to journey boards (see the example below).


For example, let’s consider the board above called ‘hosting a dinner party’. Notice how the board is a higher-level customer job, and how it’s been split into more detailed customer jobs using stages. Also notice how you can map both a high-level macro journey that overlaps all stages, as well as individual, more detailed micro journeys that fit within individual stages.

Keep boards and stages agnostic of channel, product, and products or services: Define your boards and stages in such a way that they can be used to describe multiple channels, personas, and products/services as well (in case their lifecycles are similar enough). You can then create multiple (micro) journeys per stage, channel lanes and journey tags to distinguish different variations of journeys based on channels, products, or services.

Tip: To organize journeys based on your teams or domains (inside-out), we recommend using journey group tags. This gives you the best of both worlds; your framework gives you the customer-perspective of your journeys, while tags help you to make cross-sections of those journeys based on your teams, products, or domains.

#5: Use a consistent naming format

To keep your framework consistent, use the same format for naming boards, stages, and journeys.

  • Use the present continuous tense for boards and stages: For example by using ‘Onboarding’, ‘Managing my profile’, or ‘Taking a photo’.

  • Use the ‘I [customer job]’ format for journeys. For example; ‘I pay’, ‘I call the helpdesk’, etc. This helps ground your journeys in the perspective of your customers.

#6: Set up a framework as a co-creative exercise

If you’re leading the creation of a framework, here are several tips on facilitating such a process:

  • Co-create with other experts. Since a journey framework often spans multiple disciplines, departments, and countries, it often helps to co-create a framework with representatives of each to get the full picture. Especially in larger organizations, there is often not one person that has a complete overview of the full framework.

  • Co-create with your customers. Make sure you involve your customers as well. Ask them what they see as the key chapters of their experience, and validate your framework with them. That way you make sure your framework is built up according to how your customer experiences it, instead of according to how your organization or processes are organized.  

  • Expect an iterative process. Setting up a framework is an ongoing process. The more you learn about your customers, the more you’ll be able to fine-tune your framework to better reflect their experience. Reaching the ‘sweet spot’ is an iterative process that might take several rounds to complete.

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