A project journey is a simple and visual way to describe a project. In MindLab, we use the project journey to create a shared dialogue about a project, and we use it both for classic project evaluation, to map what is learned and to get an overview of complex organizational challenges.
Our experience is that the project journey provides a visual overview that makes it possible to spot untapped potential or contexts, we would not have seen otherwise. Often, project journeys provide us with important insights that we can use in our continued work.
The method is also suitable for facilitating a dialogue between collaborators, and it often reveals that partners have experienced a process quite differently. With a well-documented project journey, the group gets a clearer understanding of the project and gains a good opportunity to draw important lessons from the project.
Print the [project journey], draw a horizontal line on a flip-over or use tape to mark a line on a table.
Inputs from the involved partners. The purpose is to get the different perspectives from all partners involved in the project added in chronological order. The starting point is a horizontal timeline under which all important activities should be placed. Above the timeline you add the thoughts and reflections related to the activities.
On post-its you note answers to the following questions, which afterwards will be organized on the timeline.
• Key moments. The three – five moments that each participant experienced as the most important.
• How did the project develop – walk through a more chronological sequence together. What happened specifically: proposals, meetings, reports, consultancy inputs etc. Who was involved?
What were the challenges / victories along the way? Conclude by asking all participants to form an overview of the journey / process and place icons representing where they experienced it went best (hearts), where they believe further examination is needed (exclamation marks), and where it hurt (lightning). It may also be important to note the reflections in this final part.