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Mapping and Pruning — An Innovation Strategy — Part 1

At Home Depot we tend to work on processes and systems that have been in place for upwards of 5–10 years. They are old, crusty, redundant and often times a real pain for everyone involved. But what are you going to do? You can’t change all of it and sometimes the technical infrastructure just isn’t flexible enough to fit something new. This being the case I have found a method that allows for innovations to be made while fitting into constraints of start and end points. I call it mapping and pruning.

  1. A selected group of targeted users. You should be able to talk with these users easily and on a basis.

Step 1 — Collect Data

The first step of this process is to identify the scope of your project and begin to gather information. In bonsai,the practitioner will take some time and look all around the selected tree. Identifying the front, the primary viewing angle, and shaping an idea for what this could become.

Step 2 — Identify Structure

Once you have your raw material scoped out, its time to begin identifying the underlying structure. What are the clumps of tasks ? Depending on the process and the scope you may have a lot or you may have only a few. Try and aim for at least 4–5 chunks. If you have too few you either have too little data and need to expand or too little context and need to zoom-out. There is innovation everywhere so just keep at it with that beautiful brain of yours.

Step 3 — Prune and Shape

The last step is to begin pruning our little UX bonsai map.

Written by

A UX Designer in Atlanta focused on mentoring, modular UI and using python as a research method. www.alexgregorie.com

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