Visualising Business Transformation
Pictures, Diagrams and the Pursuit of Shared Meaning
Business transformation typically involves a wide range of visualisation techniques, from the templates and diagrams used by managers to make better strategic choices, to the experience maps used by designers to understand customer needs, the technical models used by architects to propose possible solutions, and the pictorial representations used by change managers to engage stakeholder groups in dialogue. Up until now these approaches have always been dealt with in isolation, in the literature as well as in practice. This is surprising, because although they can look very different, and tend to be produced by distinct groups of people, they are all modelling different aspects of the same thing. Visualising Business Transformation draws them together for the first time into a coherent whole, so that readers from any background can expand their repertoire and understand the context and rationale for each technique across the transformation lifecycle. The book will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers involved in change, whether that is by creating change models themselves (strategists, architects, designers, engineers, business analysts, developers, illustrators, graphic facilitators, etc.), interpreting and using them (sponsors, business change managers, portfolio/programme/project managers, communicators, change champions, etc.), or supporting those involved in change indirectly (trainers, coaches, mentors, higher education establishments and professional training facilities).
Table of Contents
List of Figures, Acknowledgements, About the Authors, Chapter 1. Introduction, Context for the book, The role of models and visualisation, Key propositions of the book, Our motivation for writing this book, Who the book is for and why, How we have organised the book, About the examples in the book, About our terminology, PART I Models and transformation, Chapter 2. Models in context, What do we mean by ‘model’? What is ‘modelling transformation’?, What is a system?, Meaning and mental models, How do we classify models of change?, , Chapter 3. The transformation journey, The approach to change, Programmes: Upgrading the machine, Design Thinking: Responding to the environment, Systemic approaches, Developing a portfolio of paradigms, Where to next? PART II A journey along the Visualisation Continuum, , Chapter 4. Pictures, Rich Pictures, Enter ‘Visual Thinking’, The role of the facilitator, Chapter 5. Templates and ad hoc visuals, Mainstream frameworks and visual fitness, Visual resonance, Common models, Chapter 6. Diagrams, Unstructured diagramming, Conventional diagrams, Systems diagrams, Diagramming: A review, Chapter 7. Standards-based visuals, Foundations of standards-based visuals, Types of standards-based visuals, Further insights into standards-based visuals, PART III Pursuing shared meaning, Chapter 8. Finding shared meaning in models, Moving beyond boxes and lines, Marketing: Learning from the ‘meaning industry’, Architecture and engineering: Creating digital counterparts, Levels of abstraction, User experience design, Views of the future, Chapter 9. Using visual language effectively, Maximising shared meaning, Are the elements represented familiar to the audience? Are the elements represented in an experiential way?, Are the metaphors familiar?, Are the principles of visual perception applied?, Does the appearance harmonise with the structure?, , Chapter 10. Epilogue, Index, ,
Jonathan Whelan is an established business transformation specialist with over 30 years’ experience in roles including strategist, architect and programme manager and he has received wide acclaim from organisations globally for his insights. He is the author of Business Architecture: A Practical Guide.
Stephen Whitla is the founder and director of Visual Meaning, a management consultancy that helps organisations make sense of change through a combination of systems thinking and visual thinking. Stephen has been working in business transformation for over 15 years. He blogs at www.meaning.guide.
"This book is written with clear and direct purpose: to quite literally see how businesses can and should transform. The authors present a thoughtful and compelling argument for modeling change through visualization, and their approach shows rigor, depth, and clarity. In an ever-changing world with increasing complexity, this book is the perfect starting point for visualizing business challenges." - Jim Kalbach, Head of Customer Experience at MURAL and author of Mapping Experiences
"Powerful visual models are the secret weapon of designers, architects and consultants alike. This book gives you not only an extensive selection of versatile models for business transformation, but guides you to choose and weave together suitable models for your challenges: spanning a continuum from abstract maps and real-world illustrations all the way to formal enterprise modelling languages, it will boost your ability to create clarity and move things forward." - Milan Guenther, Enterprise Designer, Author of Intersection.
"The whole point about the process of business transformation is that it is complex, uncertain and hard to visualise, so the concept behind Jonathan and Steve’s book is bang on the money, in terms of relevance and value. The execution is good too. The structure and the thread of the book is intuitive and the writing is excellent. I relish the way the authors interweave their explanations with appropriate and very pertinent references and illustrations, so that the overall effect is very seamless. This is a book that will raise the general literacy around the role, value and shortcomings of visualization so that business people can understand and ‘read’ these tools and models; distinguish between a model that works and one that isn’t very good; and understand why that is." - Jonathan Norman, Knowledge Manager, Major Projects Knowledge Hub
"Leaders of business transformation often find it hard to describe the changes they want to make in a way that is meaningful to all the different groups of people involved in enacting them. The authors of this book offer some novel insights into the kinds of visualisations that will help different constituencies come to a shared understanding of their new world so that they can work together more effectively in it. They also provide an excellent guided tour around the different types of illustrations and models available and how these help with exploring, designing and communicating change." - Sally Bean, Sally Bean, Enterprise Architecture Consultant, Sally Bean Ltd
"This book is important to all of us striving to build understanding between different disciplines. When we run out of words - as we frequently do – we need diagrams and pictures. This book shows how diagrams themselves can be organised, explaining the different types and their strengths. If you are using diagrams, you need this book." - Richard Black, Chief Data Officer, Danske Bank
"Frank Lloyd Wright observes that "you can use an eraser on the drawing board or a sledgehammer on the construction site." You can argue all you want that it takes too long or costs too much to formalize descriptive representations but I will guarantee that if you cannot "show me the models," you have NO agreement and you WILL live to regret it! Visualizing Business Transformation is a very important discussion of Visualization, Models, Diagrams, Abstractions, Agreement and Transformations, etc! These are complex issues that have no simplistic resolution and are not going away. Thank you Jonathan and Steve for your thoughtful discussion." - John A. Zachman, Originator of the Zachman Framework
"This title is a great resource for any architect, analyst, designer, change agent, or anyone else who needs to visually communicate things like "where we are, and where we want to get to." There is a lot of fluff about "visualisation" these days, and pretty "coffee table" books, but this title makes the principles and methods concrete and actionable. In particular, the "visualisation continuum" classification is brilliant - it clearly shows how different groups talk past each other, and how to see each other’s perspective." - Alec Sharp, Senior Consultant, Clariteq Systems Consulting and Author: "Workflow Modeling: Tools for Process Improvement and Application Development"
"This is a definitive guide to visualisation for transformation, from people who really know their craft. I think this is a must-have for anyone who wants better shared understanding, in the right domain, at the right time, in the right way. Every consultant, business student or lecturer, senior leader or transformation professional should have a copy within reach." - Benjamin Taylor, Chief Executive, the Public Service Transformation Academy and RedQuadrant