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Planning and facilitating a cross-functional workshop to refresh the organization's perspective on customers' in-store journey, taking into account new digital connections and in-store technology. The result, a detailed customer journey map, highlighted key opportunities and provided groundwork for planning the product and experience roadmap for the upcoming year.

The product team needed clarity on how a typical customer moves through each phase of interacting with Finish Line in-store in order to determine now to incorporate digital elements to help them in that journey. My role was to plan and execute a cross-functional team workshop to create a journey map that could be used to shape the roadmap for these in-store products and experiences roadmap for the upcoming year.

Note: Due to the proprietary nature of the research, I can't share the actual customer journey map that was formed.  Instead, I'll share how I crafted the workshop process and conducted post-workshop verification, including in-context observation, interviews, and focus groups.

Co-planned and executed the journey-mapping workshop with a focus on including the right team and creating space and ability to pinpoint opportunities to create delight, address challenges, and improve efficiency within Finish Line stores.

These results helped to drive roadmap for the following year and informed the product team's focus on omnichannel experiences.

  • qualitative research

  • journey-mapping and story gathering

  • project management

  • workshop planning

  • user interviews and insights

Bring together the right cross-disciplinary team.

Identify stakeholders within multiple departments whose knowledge will be valuable to the exercise and the project as a whole. Emphasize collaboration and cross-departmental work to expand the team's perspective and optimize the ability to discover issues and opportunities.

Define the scope and the goal of the project.


What experience are we depicting? What is the purpose of the journey map? What tangible benefits can the team, and the company as a whole, gain from developing it? Before beginning, we ensured mutual understanding of this scope and goal within the team.

Define and take into account the needs of team members.


We needed to define and address what the members of the team would need in order to succeed in this exercise. For example:

  • Enthusiasm and buy-in will be important for a process that required this high level of time, collaboration, and creativity.

  • At the end, team members will be looking for the creation of work they can be proud of, that they believe is tangible and useful, and that the company will value.

  • They will want knowledge that the work will be share in a worthwhile way.

  • They will need specific examples to fully understand the ideal content and process of the workshop.

We kept these needs in mind as we determined how to communicate project objectives and the goals of the deliverable, follow-up with the team afterwards, and share our findings with the company.

Determine the most effective format for the workshop.

  • We worked to determine the ideal length of the sessions, leaving ourselves enough room for robust discussion, but also keeping the time short enough to avoid boredom and fatigue.

  • We also had to consider how to facilitate conversations that were engaging not only for people physically in the room, but those who participated remotely.

  • The correct tools and processes needed to be used at the correct times. When do we allow for individual vs. group brainstorming? Should we brainstorm using post-its or digital tools, or a combination? How do we ensure that we create a space that allows for uninhibited, encouraging discussion?

Anticipate issues.

  • Using real customer data is the basis of our understanding. However, we would need to emphasize that, in a workshop setting like this, it's ok to move forward with hypothesis or assumption and circle back later to collect research or create a test plan.

  • We also wanted to emphasize that the goal of the workshop is to have a grounded understanding of the challenges customers face in their journey, the questions they have, and where we can address opportunities in ways that create delight and make the process more efficient. A beautiful infographic is just a pretty picture unless it has useful, relevant information to ground design work and add value to the company.

  • We needed to create a space to put questions and ideas that are important, but not necessarily within the scope of the conversation. These items should be acknowledged, but then "parked" in a space that we could return to if we had extra time.

Execute the workshop.

  • The goal and scope of the project, as well as ground rules for the workshop (no laptops or phones; be welcoming to ideas; use your own expertise, but keep the perspective of the customer, etc.) were sent out beforehand.

  • The workshop itself occurred over the course of a single day, with team members from Digital and In-Store Experience, Product Management, Design, Store Operations, Loyalty, Store Management, and IT.

  • The cross-functional workshop team produced a robust map of our omnichannel customer.

  • Another team member and I verified and expanded on this journey through additional research, including in-store observations and interviews and analytics.

  • The final document highlighted key opportunities, provided groundwork for an omni-channel-focused brainstorming session, and helped to guide planning of product and experience roadmap for the upcoming year.

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