Teamwork with Sticky Notes: Visualizing Complexity

Posted by Julie • October 30, 2014 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 2 min read

Visualizing the Customer Experience

Visualizing complexity is hard. Where do you start if you have a story with lots of twists and turns? How do you draw a picture of a complex process?

We’re lucky and excited to have new employees at Trakstar. It’s amazing what new blood brings to a team.

One of our new employees, Nikki, helped us dig into our customers’ journey in order for us to find ways to improve the customer experience at Trakstar!

On massive poster board with lots of sticky notes, we mapped out each step of a customer’s interaction with us, from sale through delivery of Trakstar. We outlined our actions, our customer’s needs and what our customers might be feeling at each point. We even included one of our remote employees using web conference software (thanks @GoToMeeting!) and he was able to participate across state lines.

As each team member added a sticky to the board, the answers to some of our most complex processes revealed themselves visually. The best part?  Instant agreement from our team about where we could help. We even got excited about new ideas that came out!

The sticky notes were simple, cheap, and everyone participated equally.  Best of all, we learned a new strategy for visualizing complexity in other areas.

Thinking of visualizing complex processes of your own?

I’ll oversimplify it here for the sake of summary, and include link to the actual instructions below.

Just in case you’d like to try using stickies with your team to visualize a complex issue, here’s what we did:


  • Large poster board, wall, or butcher paper, 3ftx6ft or larger
  • Sticky notes in different colors
  • Sharpies

Consider a complex process or issue your team wants to improve.  Using sticky notes, map the steps to solve the problem as it exists today on the posterboard.

At each step, use a different color to show what happens internally (inside your organization), what may be happening outside the organization, and what either side may be thinking, feeling, seeing, doing or hearing.

When done, the collection of notes will reveal areas of current strength (we do a lot here) and possibly areas of opportunity (we need to do more here.) Use your sticky map to help chart your path, then divide and conquer.

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