Draw a Map to Clarity

This was a conference session at the 2021 Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted by NTEN.

Co-Presenters: Adrienne Figus and Brianna Collins

Group decision-making for technology projects can go awry for many reasons: Do you all agree on a project’s needs, audience, and what success looks like? Do you know if you’re solving the right problem? It’s crucial to make these decisions before investing time and money in a project (e.g., revamping a website, moving to a new CRM, auditing a process), but it’s not always easy to communicate about them. Visual communication can help! Beyond the picture itself, the process of creating a picture together can help us “see” more clearly, and helps techies and non-techies get on the same page. We’ll share a few types of visual thinking methods, and how and when to use them. Not artistic? Not a problem! If you can draw a box and a straight(ish) line, you can communicate visually. We’ll also discuss using these methods through the life of a project.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how visual methods aid in framing the problem and communicate clearly in working towards a solution
  • Learn how to use visual communication to achieve clarity regardless of artistic ability or technical expertise
  • Build your toolbox with explanatory and exploratory maps, diagrams, and visual methods

Target Audience

Leaders, project managers, and technology staff who need help getting cross-functional teams on the same page and to a consensus

At NTC, there is a practice of collaborative notes, and you can find the slides and the template worksheet here as well: Collaborative Notes for #21NTC Draw a Map to Clarity