How to use Trigger Maps

3. Trigger Map strategies

When it's OK to skip Trigger Maps... and when to use them for addressing "paradigm ruts."

Is it a “failed” Discovery interview if you get lots of Problems and Ideal State outcomes… but never get to your Trigger Map? Not at all! But there are some situations where you might want to prematurely move the interview into the Triggered Ideas phase, even when the customer might have had more Problem and Ideal State outcomes.

One case is when you’ve already conducted several Discovery interviews with other customers… and you’re just hearing “more of the same” in the Problems & Ideal State sections. Another reason to proactively move the interview into the Triggered Idea phase is that your customer is stuck in a “paradigm rut”: They’re thinking in a limited fashion that prevents more exciting outcomes from surfacing. We’ve identified four such ruts:

Objectives Rut: Customers are fixated on just cost reductions… especially the cost of your product. This is a good time to show them the Benefits Map: Perhaps you could help them think of ways to sell more of their product or at higher prices.

Timing Rut: Many customers only think about today: They’re overwhelmed by the “tyranny of the urgent.” Show them the Trends Map so they start thinking about their future.

Process Rut: Customers may focus strictly on that part of the process where your products have historically been used. They’ve come to associate you and your products with just part of their process, and you want them to think more broadly. The Outcomes Map helps them think about process steps preceding and following the steps you traditionally engage in.

Technology Rut: Your customers’ thinking may be limited by the current solutions they are familiar with… today’s range of technology. But you’ve got some exciting new technology and want them to think in broader terms. In this case, use the “What-If” method. You can learn more about this in e-learning module 17: Trigger Methods (at > e-Learning). Exercise caution with this Trigger Map so you don’t a) jeopardize your intellectual property or b) end up “leading the witness.”

You saw how to create Trigger Maps in the earlier BlueHelp article, Creating Trigger Maps for Discovery interviews.... and learned how to use them during interviews in the last BlueHelp article, Using Trigger Maps during Discovery interviews. For more on Discovery interviews, see e-Learning Module 15: Discovery interviews at > e-Learning.


Keywords: Trigger Maps, triggered ideas, fresh Discovery thinking, Benefits Map, Trends Map, Outcomes Map, blue sticky notes, skipping Trigger Maps, paradigm ruts, objectives rut, timing rut, process rut, technology rut