Visual recording

Visual recording is also called graphical facilitation. It captures on a graphical supports the ideas  coming from a conference, a brainstorming session and can replace meetings notes.

If the graphic recording can be performed by artists, you don’t need to be an artist to create one. Many books are offering to develop your graphical recording skills. These books offer to elaborate a personal gallery of graphic icons to use during the visual recording sessions. Pikablo is a good source of inspiration.

The graphic recording is popular in conferences. It allows to keep a record of the presentation in an entertaining way. It extends the user experience.

The following capture is part of a visual recording during an Agile conference organised by Agile Consortium in Brussels in February 2018.

In the video captured during the event you can see that the visual performance is captured during the speech. The visual recording can be prepared when the slides of the event are available in advance or with a interview of the speaker. The live performance remains a key element.  It creates a visual attention which keeps the audience focus on the speech.

Visual recording can also be used to record notes of meetings. Visual notes  deliver a stronger impact. Visual record of an event will help people with a visual memory to better remember the elements of the discussion.

The graphical facilitation is also a good media to attract the attention of a group of people in a workshop or in a brainstorming session.

Visual recording and graphic facilitation is a tool which becomes popular. It is creating a new communication channel to convey a message and create a visual  impact.

You can start learning by replacing you meeting doodles by visual recording dooldes. You will certainly discover that on top of delivering to you notes which are easier to digest, it also greatly increase your own attention during meeting.

Lessons learned with the sail boat

Lessons learned are team workshops during which a team thrive to identify how to improve the way to work as a team.  In AGILE retrospective meeting team members gather their feedback in 3 categories:

  • Start doing
  • Stop doing
  • Continue doing

Navigating through the AGILE games literature and inspiration for coaching workshop I recently rediscovered the speed boat.

Picture your project as a speed boat going very fast, what anchors are slowing you down ? The format is described in Game storming, a book and online website for brainstorming workshop.

The speed boat lessons learned proposes each participant to categorize their experience with the project in few categories:

  1. The wind, blows in the sail of the boat. It represents all the factors which have been helping the project to move forward
  2. The boat represent the team, the work environment, the team work and /or  the products delivered.
  3. The anchor, as in the original speed boat, represent the forces which are driving the team backward.
  4. The rocks are the dangers ahead. The risk s for the boat to wreck and for the project to fail.
  5. The island represents the goal of the team, where everybody is heading toward.
  6. I added the sun to picture the fun part in the team journey. The sun represents the things which are not essential or not part of the products delivered by the team but that the team loves doing or would love starting doing. It is the sanuk way of working in Thailand.

I created a template that I gave to each participant. I gave 5 minutes to the team members to collect there ideas on their template. I recommend the usage of yellow sticky notes to reduce the time consumed in the collection of the team feedback.

To empower the team to decide what are the positive elements to promote and the most important issues to address, you can propose the team to use dot voting. Each team member is given 5 dots to use to vote next to feedback given by the teams. The issues (anchors, rocks) receiving the more dots are the most urgent ones to address. The positive points (sun and island) which are receiving the more dots are the one to promote in the team organisation.

I also had the occasion once to see the sail boat used in a recruitment. The candidate was proposed to picture his drivers,  assets, blockers, fears, goals and ideals as the wind, board, anchor, rock, island and sun. It think it remove the anxiety of the situation were you are requesting to judge yourself.

In the same way it allowed my team members to share more openly about the team using the boat allegory than the typical  3 categories of AGILE lessons learned.

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