A simple methodology for visual project mapping

by | Oct 1, 2016

Here’s a seven step guide to how you can implement visual mapping in your organization in a simple, repeatable way. The example diagrams for steps 1-5 are taken from a Hubscope blog post about visualizing a home network:

1.Identify the key stakeholders: Always start with a conversation with the business. Draw a mini org chart showing them, where they sit in the organization and relationships between them.

2. Confirm objectives: Go and talk to the stakeholders. Ask them about their high level requirements. Ask them why they have these requirements. Encourage them to talk in terms of business need rather than solution. Read between the lines. Ask them again. Go away and draw a requirements tree. Send it to them and incorporate their feedback.

3.Define services: Even if your organization doesn’t have a Service Oriented Architecture, it helps to consider what services will be required to deliver the requirements. Abstraction into services makes into easier to show how application components or functional blocks relate to requirements when it comes to designing the solution.

4.Outline the solution components: Finally think in terms of technology but keep everything at a high level. Draw a conceptual architecture using terminology that the business stakeholders will be able to understand such as application, hardware and data.

5.Bring it all together: Show everything on one page so that stakeholders can directly see how the solution delivers to their requirements. Explore the model from a number of perspectives and make sure everyone’s view is represented.

6.Update regularly: Use the map as a communication tool to keep everybody honest and aligned. Iterate the map to cover important changes in objectives, scope or solution.

7.Communicate at key stages: Use the map to show progress on the project and communicate these changes with status updates to show that milestones have been reached.

A whiteboard is a good place to start with this kind of visual thinking but you’ll also need something that you can carry around with you, update easily and share electronically. Have you looked at Hubscope yet? It’s a great tool for helping you to run through the above steps.

Click the button below to give it a try.

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Image credits:

  1. Hopscotch image by Sommer Poquette is used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license and has been cropped to fit the blog template
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