Storymapping with Kanban

My previous experience with speaking and presenting left me with a sense of excitement and motivation to share my story of implementing agile techniques with the Agile community at Agile 2011 in Salt Lake City. However, this would be the first attempt at sharing stories in a different industry than my own home turf of the educational world. There are only a billion ways to story-map, limited only by the creativity of the planner. My need for visualisation left me with the question of “why not” when I considered story-mapping with a visual control board. Already a fan and strong user in my professional and personal life of LeanKitKanban’s kanban board product, I added the following board to my account. Now for the story of developing a story…

Keeping it simple, I kept it to three levels: brainstorming, order of delivery, and the storyboard itself that would have a card representing each slide. Everything you see in order of delivery was at one time in the brainstorming section. I threw everything that I could possible think was relevant to my story of Agile in Academics in the brainstorming section. As you can see, the card “agile methodology” did not make the cut and get taken down to the next level. This was placed there to provide context of agile methodology, but this was later deemed obvious since I was presenting to the Agile community and better suited for an audience unfamiliar to the agile ways.

Also during the brainstorming process I assigned levels of value for what would be shared, as indicated by the critical and important statuses on the cards. This helped me spread out the essential values I needed to share across the whole story rather than lumping all core features in one section and leaving the presentation lop-sided. The order of delivery definitely took the most time and this was the essential “attention holder” for my audience. Once again, I turned to Reasonate by Nancy Durante to guide my development.

Finally, with the order of delivery determined, the cards representing each slide are placed in the storyboard section to provide a full visual picture of the flow and type of images I need to support my story. This also helped me balance the type of images, analytic reports, and having simply words across the slides. It was not until I was fully satisfied with the storyboard did I open PowerPoint to start putting together my presentation. This method was a new one for me, and I must say, it was much more time efficient, and most of all, effective for me.

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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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