I use Customer Journey Sketchboards (Maps or Blueprints) within inception workshops and i think they are THE most effective method for creating a shared understanding of the end users experience, and for identifying new opportunities for improvement or change.
These can be built with the end users, or can be build in isolation then validated later. They are a great asset for driving conversations. I find once they are created we refer back to them constantly, and i use them to drive out “Design Stories” for prototyping and as a context for prioritizing the stories. It’s where the rubber hits the road with personas.
See http://experiencinginformation.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/customer-journey-mapping-resources-on-the-web/ for a bunch of resources if your interested.
above is a good template from http://desonance.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/customer-experience-mapping/
On the surface, its an easy and fairly mechanical process to create one in a workshop…. i have found the real challenge is to ensure everyone in the room is engaged, and i constantly find myself asking “so what have we learnt here” out aloud (which is no doubt very annoying )
a list of “things” you might want to try and draw out on a Customer Journey Sketchboard can be found at http://www.mycustomer.com/topic/customer-intelligence/customer-journey-mapping/105167
Adaptive path also have a page and video about it – http://www.adaptivepath.com/ideas/essays/archives/000863.php