Time Is Money
Have you ever been labouring to create a layout while part of your brain is nagging away at you; Questioning if all your twiddling is really the best use of your time?
One problem with drawing tools is that you can tinker all you like with the positioning of the pieces or fuss over the alignment and aesthetics in a way that is completely disproportionate to how much your audience actually care about the layout. Was the time you spent fiddling with your layout really worth it?
If you’re anything like me, whilst you know that your precious time needs to be spent on content and insightful design, time after time you lose a couple of hours here and there sacrificed at the altar of perfection.
Speaking as a technical person I feel I’m particularly cursed with the perfectionist gene. Over the past 30 years, I couldn’t tell you how many hours, days and months I’ve spent using PowerPoint, Visio, EA Sparx, Paint or some other graphical app to create pictures that I can use to help get my point across to my team.
I can honestly say at least 60% of the time it takes to create a design diagram has been spent on layout rather than context. If I could have all that time back then I could retire early!
There has to be a better way, that’s why I created Hubscope.
Another consequence of spending loads of time creating diagrams is that it builds up a wall between you and the audience. The more impressive the diagram, the more people might think “Wow that looks like it took you a long time to create, so I’d better not point out what’s wrong with it. I’ll just smile politely”.
But that’s no help to you. If you are able to demonstrate to your audience that you’re not precious about the layout (because it drew itself!) the more likely others will be to offer opinions and start getting involved. Thus creating a genuinely shared model which benefits everyone on the project, including you.
Whiteboards are a great place to start visualising anything; there are no rules. Here’s a good tip, start by drawing a very rough drawing showing the project’s scope and design, then get some highlighters and colour as follows: Orange=Requirement, Blue=Software, Yellow=Hardware, Green=Service and Red=Data or suchlike.
If you’re already using Hubscope, work through your whiteboard sketch to add them to the relevant Hubscope perspective tabs, joining together as you go. Once finished, try different layouts and see how professional it looks compared to your initial scribbles.
With Hubscope, you’ll love the ease with which you can transition between different layouts as you ponder just how long it would have taken to create layouts of the same quality with standard diagramming tools. But then, these other tools don’t put automatic layouts first, they leave that to you. So let Hubscope do the layout work while you focus on the things you’re good at.
Consultants and contractors might ask themselves, “Why use a tool that saves me time when I’m paid by the hour?” Good point, but the answer is that it will allow you to add value to a project and therefore remain competitive. The more extraordinary your work is, the more valuable your contribution.
No matter what your role is on a project, start impressing your team right away and encourage others to join the dots from their perspective.