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Journey Map of the IEP Process
The Problem/My Role
The Special Education Process is extremely complex and tied to federal regulations. I needed to create a journey map of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process to better understand it. This work would guide and inform software design decisions. I was tasked with understanding and visually representing the process in a way that could be used as a teaching tool and as a reference for the many projects ahead.
Tommy is having difficulty with reading, and his parents and teachers have noticed. Tommy may have a learning disability. Some children have disabilities (physical or cognitive disabilities) that require special attention from schools systems. These children may need an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Research federal processes & guidelines
Journey Map Workshop
Clean up journey map and iterate
Validate findings with Subject Matter Experts (SME's)
I studied federal guidelines and could see the most important data points that needed to be in my journey map included:
What are the overarching steps in the process?
Which forms are needed at each step?
Who needs to be present during each meeting? School personnel? Parents/Guardians?
What is the necessary outcome of each meeting? What was decided?
What is the timeline for each step?
• Journey Map Workshop
The team included a mix of subject matter experts including the Product Manager, Implementations, and Customer Support.
I created 10 columns, one for each step in the process, and we discussed each of the data points for each step. ie: Who needs to be involved? (Teachers? Parents? Service Providers?) Which forms are needed? Where does each touchpoint happen within our software? And which steps will be taken next? I was able to create a first draft from this collaboration and shared it with SME's for feedback and validation.
The finalized journey map was was shared out internally for individual use. For years, it hung on my wall as a reference—I needed it for almost every Special Education project.