Voyage Mapping (Standard Rollup Version)

A powerful, metaphorical business planning and project review tool!

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Metaphor is a powerful way of expressing yourself -- and the metaphor of "the journey" is one that endures through history. Across cultures and centuries, the idea of the voyage or the adventure has enthralled and excited.

In this simple, visual set of resources, RSVP Design has created a set of images that illustrate past journeys and anticipate future quests. Voyage Mapping is a team building activity used to share and review past experiences, good or bad, in order to plan ahead for an uncertain future, manage and anticipate challenges and pitfalls. The activity uses a visual metaphor of a journey to generate discussion of past and future challenges. The Standard Version can be used for up to a group of 8 to work on at one time.

The activity uses the idea of an old-fashioned sea voyage to represent the way in which explorers brought back with them the accounts of the events and incidents which shaped their voyage and the ‘tales' of what they discovered. These stories include new knowledge and skills that were acquired, dangers faced and overcome and accounts of the feelings, relationships and memories which they shared.

As these stories are remembered and explored, learning emerges that can then be used and applied in planning for future voyages of discovery. The activity is equally effective when used to reflect on an individual, personal or professional journey, or the journey of a group, team or organization.

As teams contemplate their voyage, you might here comments such as: 

“It's a big ship and it takes a lot of turning..”
“We're in the Doldrums..”
“The sharks are out there!”"
“It's been an uphill struggle but I think we've reached the summit…”
“We're at a crossroads: we need to make a very decisive change in direction.”

The Voyage Mapping activity provides materials and resources to allow individuals within a group to work with powerful metaphors for exploring the past and preparing for future challenges.


The activity contains materials to enable participants to create visual business development plans, and potential project futures; and review tasks, projects and processes they have undertaken to identify successes and failures. They explore the critical incidents and draw from those key learning points which they believe will have value in the future. This reflective process helps to ensure that future mistakes can be avoided, problems and pitfalls can be anticipated and costly repetition or reworking minimized.


Voyage Mapping encourages participants to tell the stories of the journey they have been on, individually and together, through the course of a learning process, a project or a business challenge.


Activity Contents:

  • 1 reusable laminated map 48" x 24" (119cm x 59m)
  • 5 sets of 15 cartoon image metaphors
  • 1 set of 3 different write-on wipe-off pens
  • 1 set of Charting the Future cartoon keys
  • 1 Charting the Future brief
  • 1 set of Reflecting on Past Experience cartoon keys
  • 1 Reflecting on Past Experience brief


Watch Video Demo!

Learning Focus

  • Action Planning
  • Goal-setting & Monitoring
  • Group Management
  • Risk Assessment
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Teambuilding


Group Size
Ideal: 2 - 6
Possible: 2 - 8


30-90 Minutes plus review

Here are some examples of how the toolbox might be used:

  • To initiate a team development planning session
  • To consider how to achieve a set of business development goals or specific, measurable targets
  • To review the learning from an extended project and consider how to apply it to future projects
  • To compare the experiences of different sub-teams and individuals during a period of change or pressure
  • To take an individual or group through a personal action planning process
  • To replace a traditional SWOT analysis as a way of assessing potential, risks and opportunities

Voyage Mapping (Standard Rollup Version)

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