Thursday, 21 April 2016

Community of Practice - Empathy Mapping

Yesterday, I was at the Change Management Community of Practice (CoP) at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU). I was really pleased to be invited, although a little nervous because Claire and Katie from SHU had run a training session at our CoP in March and they had been a resounding success (they are a tough act to follow).

Attendees seemed to be genuinely interested in the process improvement work we have been involved with. Equally we identified some shared themes that present challenges for getting staff involved in process improvement activities (e.g. we don't have the time, we don't have a continuous improvement culture, it's hard to share improvements across different departments/faculties in the institution).
The main part of my visit involved me talking about how to Empathy Map. David Gray, author of The Connected Company and Gamestorming, is the man behind the empathy map. The use of empathy mapping started with web design user experience activities. Its purpose is to give us a fuller picture of a customer's experience rather than just relying on verbatim feedback. It can also be a useful tool to help us identify what we don't know about customers' experiences so that we can design surveys and focus group questions. I find it a really useful way of challenging my understanding of a process beneficiaries experience.

On the way out I was very interested in the way the lifts in the building have been changed (possibly not as an improvement activity...). There are four lifts serving eleven floors in a high volume area, rather than getting into the lift and selecting a floor, there is a touch pad where you select the floor you wish to go to (I suspect an algorithm works out the most efficient way for the lift to get people to the floor) and the screen tells you which lift to get in. My one piece of feedback is that the visual management for this process could be improved. Yes, I was that customer who on arrival just got in the lift and then wondered how I could get to my meeting when the lift "decided" which floors it was going to stop at and there were no buttons inside the lift...

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