How to facilitate an  ALL REMOTE, CROSS-DISCIPLINARY  service blueprint workshop

How to facilitate an ALL REMOTE, CROSS-DISCIPLINARY service blueprint workshop

Rough service bluepring

Remote work makes sense. A remote team should be able to perform the same tasks as onsite teams. A service blueprint workshop is a common design/ux exercise that proven to be effective for business innovation, diagnose problems and pain points for business.  How to facilitate an all remote, cross-disciplinary service blueprint workshop is always on top of a product designer/ facilitators mind. Find out HOW.

Sage - Service BP_ Service Forecasting _ Labs

For this specific post, the assumption is that you are familiar with what is a service blueprint, why do we map out a service blueprint, and when to use a service blueprint.

assumption-what, why, when

Scheduling an all remote service blueprint workshop

There are several preparation tasks when scheduling an all remote service blueprint. On top of the list:

  • Who should I invite?
  • What tools should I use to facilitate the workshop?
  • What are the challenges & benefits?
  • How to !Plan for an all remote workshop?
Service blueprint-things to consider

Same as any service blueprint workshop, you want to have a balanced team represented at this workshop. Ideally, you will invite the

  • PRODUCT OWNER/ Stakeholder
  • Subject Matter Expert (SME)
  • The product team ( Designers, Product Managers, Engineers)

You want to consider the tools you will need for running an all remote workshop. Unlike running the workshop co-location, you won’t be able to use sticky notes and walk up to the whiteboard to move things around. You will need to leverage digital tools to achieve the result. So some of the tools you use is going to be unique to the remote formate.

Video conferencing

  • Zoom
  • Adobe Connect
  • Goto Meeting

Online digital whiteboard

  • Miro board AWW app
  • Whiteboard fox Google docs
  • Figma (For designers)

Some challenges and benefits are listed below

service blueprint attendees service blueprint-challenges vs. benefit

Planning is important

According the Nielsen Norman Group effective service blueprinting follows five key high-level steps:

  1. Find support: Build a core crossdisciplinary team and establish stakeholder support.
  2. Define the goal: Define the scope and align on the goal of the blueprinting initiative.
  3. Gather research: Gather research from customers, employees, and stakeholders using a variety of methods.
  4. Map the blueprint: Use this research to fill in a low-fidelity blueprint.
  5. Refine and distribute: Add additional content and refine towards a high-fidelity blueprint that can be distributed amongst clients and stakeholders.


Set up goals

Illustrate your actors (people personas, machine personas, database personas- who will be on each swimming lane)

Break it into smaller /digestible chunks if the process is long

Set up some ground rules (but be flexible and ready to change)


For all remote:

Give yourself some extra time for people to get their machines set up

Be sure to read the instructions, goals, ground rules aloud

Give your participent some time to review your starter template and make comments.

service blueprint-panning service blueprint-goals

Define the methods, plan and review with meeting schedulers

  • Write the goal of the meeting and outcomes in a document or on the side
  • Review the goal with the participants at the beginning of the session
service blueprint- swimming lane

Identify all the “actors” on the “swimming lanes”

  • people
  • Machines
  • Systems
  • databases

Start with your own understanding of setting up the “swimming lanes”.

  • The purpose it to facilitate a conversation
  • It doesn’t have to all correct
  • It is not final. Let your participants know they will be able to add their input, and we will adjust it together

Break it into digestible chunks.

During the workshop

Give it some extra time because

  • Participants need some time to make sure the equipment is working
  • Need to check the softwares are installed if this is the first time they participate online
  • Need extra time for participants to review materials
  • During the session, people might need to repeat themselves due to internet connection breaks
  • During the session, the facilitator needs time to read the material aloud

Set some ground rules and explain clearly to people how it works.


  • who is going to be the facilitator, if there is going to be a note taker or secondary facilitator.
  • How people collaborate on the same software
  • How to avoid overwrite each other
  • When it is your  turn to talk ( Do you need to “raise” your hand? – in the software)

Be flexible

  • Similar to in person workshops, the facilitator commands the room, follow a set of predetermined rules, but always be flexible, ready to adjust the pace based
  • Give people 5 minutes to review what you’ve set up first.
  • Ask participants to add comments, notes to your document
  • After the 5 minutes is up, review these notes one by one Make adjustments when necessary

You cannot prepare for everything. Practice make it better. Follow these steps and principles, you will be able to run an all remote service blueprint workshop in a calm manner. And you and your team will get most out of the workshop.