Red Routes workshops


Hi All,

I convinced my organization to define red routes/top tasks of the enterprise system we build, to have better understanding and make smarter decisions.

We decided to go on with a workshop with internal stakeholders to speed up the process. The problem is, Senior Designer is away and will be for quite some time so I will be the one to conduct the workshop.

Do you have any techniques and tools in mind that I could use to get the best results?

Thanks a lot!



Sounds interesting, great way to go getting buy in from different stakeholders.

In my experience, most people will see red routes as only being something that leads to a sale. The obvious outcome. It’s important to define a wider list. What metrics do you want to improve?

  • Time users spend on the system, do we want more or less?
  • Customer signs up for an account.
  • Customer searches for a product
  • User comments on a blog post
  • User share something through social media.
    etc etc.

These will be specific to your system.

Good way to start off, might be to get people to submit their top 3 user outcomes (red routes). Then have everyone vote on this list. Narrowing it down to the top 5 or 10, whatever makes sense.

Could do a workshop, where folks present the top 3 and make the case for inclusion. This will get everyone thinking and seeing what is important to others.,

Hope this helps,



Hi paddy,

thanks a lot for your input. However, I think you misunderstood my post. We build an enterprise system, which is used by other companies. Users cannot sign up for an account, it’s given when the company they work for buys our system. Therefore, we do not control how much time they spend in the system. Customers do not search for products as the only product we have is our enterprise system. No blog posts or social media for the same reason.

When it comes to sales, it would be about seling as many licences as possible. And yes, red routes might eventually support sales team. The main purpose, though, in this case is determining what are tops tasks/red routes of the users so they go on with their business as usual. Meaning, which parts of the system should be deveoped in the first place. Bug related to which tasks should be solved in the first place.

Your advice is helpful and I am very grateful, however, the system is huge and suggesting three or four will not suffice. The list of top tasks might be divided per each module of the system (e.g. project management, invoicing, reporting, etc). This is a much more complicated situation. Also, each of the teams i want to invite to the workshop wil have a different view on which tasks are the top ones. I am afraid that a simple discussion will end in a bigger chaos and maybe conflicts of interests.


In case anyone was interested in what I eventually did, here are the details.

PHASE 1 - Looking for large list of tasks

I decided that the most efficient way will be conducting a simple survey among my colleagues. It was impossible to schedule a meeting with a huge number of participants, and it would be extremely difficult to facilitate such workshop.
Also, in first iteration I did a simple brainstorming with a smaller team of participants, but it proved to be futile. The way I communicated what I wanted to achieve was wrong, so obviously I had to correct this. But also, people were influenced by each other, which in this case, was mind-closing. Participants oscillated around one narrow area of the system instead of think outside the box.

But enough about what didn’t work.

I created a form in Google Docs with few questions.

  • I asked them to describe the biggest value that according to them our system gives to its users.
  • As a second task, I asked them to enumerate the most important tasks to the users, described what characteristics a task must posses, and gave them examples of personas they had to have in mind when enumerating the tasks.

These two questions gave me a lot of insight into how particular departments are thinking about the product. The reason I asked those two questions is that I wanted to make them think top-down, I asked them to think on a very high level (about abstract thing such as a value) and then I asked them to go lower, into more details. I thought ot would direct them to think about the most important tasks. What suprised me, though, is that sometimes people were able to talk about the values but not detailed tasks and the other way round.

Anyhow, I ended up with a nice list of more than 100 tasks, which I then shortened by looking for duplicates and eliminating actions which in effect users were able to accomplish, but the system did not have such a function (e.g. checking profitability).

Now I’m working on creating an actual survey to be sent to our Clients and might update this thread later. Anyway, I will be more than grateful for all your thought on the process, feedback, critique, hints, etc.


I’m always interested in possible solutions and they are valuable for people in the future so thanks for taking the time to update the topic.