Thursday, July 3, 2014

Think Visually When Building an Agile Enterprise Change Plan

A picture is definitely worth 1000 words when trying to articulate the true north for an organization undergoing massive change. 

Here are some examples of how someone with even a modicum of artistic skills (i.e. me) to use visual thinking to increase the chance that people in the organization will notice, and even provide feedback on your change plan.

Here is an atypical, if somewhat generic example of an agile transformation plan using a simpler canvas format, you can see a lot of visual metaphors used to represent the different parts of the canvas. 

A Transformation Canvas laid out to support a linear narrative
The format of this canvas is quite different than the ones I have previously shown on my blog and my book. The sections follow a simpler, more straightforward path daily typically seen a lot of canvases including ones that I previously designed.

I like this canvas format as it allows somebody new to the canvas to look at the content in a linear narrative by simply following the canvas horizontally or vertically. I've tried to organize the canvas the following almost Connextra style storytelling approach, For each column of the canvas could be followed according to the following format:
where each column of the canvas could be followed according to the following format:

We want to achieve <vision>

through <target options>  

which will produce <benefits>

that are validated through <success criteria>

and enabled through <change personas>

who are motivated to change because of <urgency>

which will inspire <action>

Here's another example of a transformation canvas template that I've also been experimenting with, in this case the format is less linear, and elements are grouped together according to how closely related they are to each other.

Including specific instructions and samples for each section

In this template, I've tried to provide some guidance around how to fill each section, so that change agents and change participants alike can use structured language to distill the really important points of each section. I've also used some visual narratives to show examples for each section.

Below is an example using this template.

Taking visual thinking to its extreme, I decided to place an immense, wall sized visualization of a transformation canvas in the most public place I could find in my client's organization (no I didn't ask for permission first). This caused people to actually stop, and take a look at what was being planned for the organization, Given the several thousand people impacted, wanted to explore all options when it came to socializing the transformation model.

Graffiti-ing up our client's wall with a transformation canvas

It certainly was a lot of fun (and a lot of work!) creating visualizations for each canvas element. Drop me a line if you want any of these templates, I'm happy to share.