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What you don’t know you don’t know.

In any problem space, there’s the stuff you know you know (I know the parts we need to make this work). Then there’s the stuff you know you don’t know (hey – let’s find out about that and work it into our plans before we start building!). But the reason why a tech project is usually overtime and overbudget is because there’s always stuff you don’t know you don’t know (cough, be more agile!, cough). The truth is, I barely know what I do know half the time, never mind the stuff I don’t…

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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Some systems are bigger than others.

As the Smiths once sang, “Some systems are bigger than others, some systems’ mothers are bigger than other systems’ mothers”. Ok maybe not, but following on from this and that it’s worthwhile showing that some parts dominate the ecosystem. In my experience, the more embedded a component is, the more difficult it is to change or replace. This part of the ecosystem has deep roots. No-one knows who planted it or why, but it’s been here for as long as anyone can remember…

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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Mapping out your Eco-system

Following on from the need to draw out an ecosystem, it’s sometimes helpful to think about the different categories of elements. So for a technology solution there might be elements to the client facing, elements that are stand alone tools, and then internal communications to join the two together…

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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The Big Ecosystem

“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem…” wrote G.K. Chesterton. An ecosystem is a tricky thing to draw because every ecosystem is different. I guess it’s a borrowed term that points to a bunch of things that are related to each other and therefore impact each other. In the context of solving a technology problem, it’s essential to have an understanding of the big picture as you can only really solve a problem when you can see it clearly. So draw out a visual landscape of all the parts, and see how many questions, gaps and misunderstandings pop up…

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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Wading through Treacle

Do your projects ever feel like you’re wading through treacle? One problem just leads to another problem and that you’re slowly sinking? You’re not alone!

(And did anyone else in the days of their youth enjoy Shredded Wheat with treacle and hot milk? Maybe that was just a rural Irish thing…)

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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Mapping out the double diamond

Following on from the Double Diamond approach, here’s what it might look like at the start of the journey. But what parts do you already know about? Where are the pitfalls? Where are the deeper marshes of despair, and can you avoid them? How can you find out more about the uncharted undergrowth of the landscape ahead?

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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#coop #edtech #livedraw #thinkery

Double Diamond

I wish I’d known about the Double Diamond design approach when I started building things. It’s deeply embedded in the Visual Thinkery 10 ideas process. Realising the need for an ideation or discovery process and that your first idea is usually not the best idea (just the most obvious). Only by going in multiple directions will you start to see the problem, and its pitfalls, clearly. I’ve always found the 2D layout of the Double Diamond misleading, as it appears like a graph: asking your eyes to progress up and down its top edge. It’s much easier to see as a landscape…

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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Personas and Archetypes

What Non-conformers are these hidden amongst my user audience? When thinking about a spectrum of personas, it’s useful to consider the individual’s wants and needs. Viewing them on a visual landscape allows you to zoom out and consider the commonalities between individual personas, and potentially discover an archetype.

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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The Four Stages of Engagement

The “Quatro Stagioni” of engaging your audience? Yummy.

I can remember a growing awareness of proper pizza in my teens. Indeed my first taste of proper pizza was a very good experience, and over the years I have definitely built a relationship with pizza that is now unshakable. Deep pan pizza though? Forget it. You may as well eat a loaf of bread…

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.

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#coop #edtech #livedraw #thinkery

Kanban. It’s Fantan-stic. Okay, I should stick to drawing…

Taking a Kanban approach to how I creatively organise my work has revolutionised my process. It’s less about nailing everything down, but more about getting a feel for what stage things are at. Ultimately, I want to avoid getting unnecessarily overwhelmed: You call it “messy”, but I prefer creatively organised…

This Thinkery was captured live during a series of workshops by We Are Open, for Catalyst.