How to Visualize Your Business Through a Service Blueprint in 5 Easy Steps
The Service Blueprint is a key component of Bain Public's product management process. We use it to help understand the context products operate within. The best way to create a great overarching product strategy is to grow and evolve this document. It helps capture a product's unique activities or the complex combination of actions. It enables companies we work with to deliver on the customer value proposition.
"A Service Blueprint is a compelling document that invites engagement by others."
It’s a process for simplifying complex systems that exist between business strategy, customer experience, and technology. It invites engagement by others, helps understand and aligns roadmap initiative implications. Use it for feature innovations within an existing product, or pivot to a new market.
The elements of your service blueprint are your Touch Points, Customer Journey, and the Technical feature ecosystem.
- TouchPoints are places of interaction with the product, from start to finish. If you want to add features to your product the starting point is to understand those interactions take place. For example, customers may engage with your SaaS product at first and then upgrade to pro features upon payment. The three places of interaction would be "SaaS Freemium activation", "Upsell" and "Pro Engagement".
- The Customer Journey is the path your customers follow to reach their goals. They wander from activating to engaging with the product, and beyond. TouchPoints are the departure point for customer journey mapping. They provide a high-level understanding of how an individual user interacts with the product over time. Journey points follow the TouchPoint principles augmented with gritty details.
- The Technical Feature Ecosystem is a list. It's composed of all technology features/services used to build and run your product. Mapping your technology stack helps teams understand what's going on around the product. It lets them think about how features, UX, and process choices align with the overarching business strategy.
- Lay the foundation with your Touch Points. Customer acquisition on the left, offering in the middle, and end goal on the right. Touch Points are described linearly because they describe various aspects of accomplishing a particular task.
- Chart out your Customer Journey. It may have several layers, which is why it’s best to use the connector lines. They connect your customers with your product offering. They are the Direct (straight arrow), Ongoing (circle), Exploratory (wingle line) and Influence (line with arrows coming in) connectors.
- Elaborate on connectors using icons with descriptions. Focus more on the experience of the customer, try to detect key engagement points — these are the points where someone looking at your blueprint might stop and ask — what’s going on here?
- Add the Technical Feature boxes below the journey by aligning Product Features to each Touch Point vertical. Try not to overlap; product features are generally mutually exclusive and you’ll soon realize how each feature aligns with a journey interaction.
- While adding more technical levels can help to create depth of understanding, it comes at the cost of increased complexity. We recommend keeping your tech stacks at three levels maximum (the front end UI, back end processes and data layer).
Mapping is an iterative process, and there’s not much gained by overanalyzing on your first pass. you can always improve your map as your product evolves.
We have found Service Blueprints very effective, especially with communication with stakeholders. They help bridge the communication gap. Make team collaboration more efficient. Become well understood by people not directly engaged in building the product -- like sales, marketing and executives. They make it easier for them to visualize interactions with the product. Provide a feature by feature relationship to both technology and the business strategy. Above all, in a glanceable and understandable way.
Credits to :
- Jim Kalback | Utilizing mapping to Gain Stakeholder Alignment
- Roman Pichler | The Product Canvas
- Antony Upward | Flourishing Business Canvas.
- Strategyzer | Business Model Canvas
Bain Public is a Product consultancy that helps companies make smart decisions, and ship top-notch products that captivate customers and achieve business objectives. We help ambitious organizations create new value by establishing company-wide product-related processes. Our group of experienced Product Managers works closely with CSuite leadership teams removing friction from all touchpoints of the digital consumer experience to deliver product-market fit allowing companies to operate at scale. For more information, visit bainpublic.com or call 514-442-8487.
Thanks to Paul Ortchanian and Alexis Levy for reading drafts of this article and overseeing aspects of its publication. The photo can be found on the free stock photo site Unsplash. Also, if you have any feedback or criticism about this article then shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.