I wrote this in an email explaining what “service design” and the blueprinting process is, and it felt so good I edited out any company private information and thought I’d repost it here:
Service blueprinting is the core “activity” and deliverable out of service design here. We take a broad use case, and break it into use cases to “blueprint” (the term adopted as the verb form of my job).
So what we do, is gather the end-to-end group of stakeholders and hold a 2-3 day session to completely blueprint that story above – not just the user experience from left to right, but the more important layers surface-to-core that underlay the user’s journey; the touchpoints (products, apps, interfaces) involved, the channels they take place in, any 2nd or 3rd party actors involved, any systems that support that part of the journey, and most importantly the intangible policies that dictate (or don’t) what happens along the way.
What the “service blueprint” ends up as is the presumptive canonical document of an end-to-end, surface-to-core documentation of what actually happens in totality for our use case.
With this blueprint, then it can be deeply analyzed for opportunities, places to focus, fix, or remove. To generate work to the teams and people who are the owners of the touchpoints, which span from marketing, to product, to backend support, or anywhere else. And it’s with this iterative blueprint view that the extended teams, UX, PM, development, business analysts, and those “specialty” people that are experts in the systems or policies, can convene and have the first, true shared understanding and artifact on which to act as a comprehensive endeavor.
The goal is to rethink the roles of design, product, and engineering to see the entire customer experience from end-to-end, to proliferate this type of work inside the org, and the very new way of working between PM and UX, as well as engineering and extended partners across these “blueprint” use cases we identify. Having started with key issues, we are branching out as more people get bought-in and interested in the idea of end-to-end service design being a method for fixing systemic, root cause issues, and prevent them before they take place.