How do you get the best outcomes from projects? You make sure the whole team (and the business) has a really clear sight of situations, problems and solutions.

Think about complex projects we build involving large teams: hospitals, aircraft, cruise ships, bridges, towns. How do we make them happen?
We draw them.

Architects draw 3d representations of spaces, flows, and structures, which go way beyond flat plans.

In the same way, I develop visual descriptions (often combining data, sometimes with other findings) that shine a light on more than spreadsheets ever can.

Just like architects, I give large teams sight of the complex entity they're trying to quantify, collaborate on, and extend or build. As any architect will tell you: drawings are the ultimate in clarity.

Business thinking says it's too intangible to be drawn. That's precisely why it should be brought into the light for all to see.

I've brought things into the light for teams working on large, complex transformation projects, for over a decade.

Executive team member pops in for inpromptu review of progress
Project spaces within the Innovation centre used for transformation projects
The team work on a single-view of the business area of interest

The one way to Improve project success

If you can't describe it clearly enough for a 6 year old to understand, then you don't really understand it yourself is a truth attributed to a clever man called Einstein.

Do 10-60+ slide Powerpoint presentations with 5-20+ bullet points per slide, and 50-200+ page reports describe anything clearly enough for a 6 year old to understand?

We're not talking about 6 year olds? The important bit was: "you don't really understand it yourself".

(The one way? Describe everything really - really - clearly. It's a lot harder than anyone thinks.).

When you see it like that, it's clearly madness

Group Executive Board member on seeing a customer journey described clearly (The madness had not been understood for years despite initiatives aiming to do exactly that)

Project performance enhancer

I work with project and programme directors, and managers, to help teams understand (describe) situations, findings, problems, solutions, and decisions.

My input compliments project management frameworks, such as Lean and Prince2, but it's not reliant on them.

Not just diagrams

My work is…
  • Investigative and analytic
  • Inherently collaborative, inviting input, challenges, and rich discussions, because no one feels like they're treading on anyone's toes
  • Developed and proven over 10 years on complex tranformation projects
  • Co-creation focussed
  • Iterative (Agile)
  • Often aggregates views cross-referencing data, knowledge (qualitative and quantitive), and other findings in one coherent description
  • Transparent and accessible – creating high engagement, inclusivity and ownership throughout an organisation
  • Easily and quickly understood (visual) regardless of expertise and familiarity
It's especially good for…
  • Enabling Executive teams and Business Unit Board decisions
  • Where functional alignment is important, or internal myths are entrenched, and/or levels of collaboration are the usual
  • Uncovering blindspots, holes, disconnects, and misunderstandings that normally stay undetected, causing mysterious underperformance and failure.
  • Wicked problems, and where qualitative or fuzzy information is the key
  • Producing robust outcomes that lead to step‑change growth
  • High complexity
  • Avoiding drift and absorbing uncertainty
  • All modes of working, including remote and hybrid

What it's especially good for…
A plc was so impressed with results, they set up a dedicated strategic project centre with my way of working as its focus.

A job of a title

Unfortunately for me, there isn't a widely understood label for what I do yet – it's so new. It can make it difficult to get hired! (Once I am hired, a label doesn't matter of course)

The best title in common use would be Business Analyst, except I don't neatly fit the definitions I see.

Central to my work is visuals (maps and diagrams) of investigated and analysed problems, and their solutions.

Some say this is Visual Consulting or being a Visual Analyst, and others call it Graphic Facilitation when it's done as part of a team. All of these are sort‑of right, but they're unusual and obscure.

Worse, they suggest a niche domain, when the opposite is true: my skill is beneficial for all projects in all sectors, wherever people need to understand complicated stuff.

An entrepreneurial client, who quickly grasped the power of what I do (it's usually the entrepreneurial who do), tried to give me a job title.

After much debate they decided "Business Architecture Visualiser" was the way to go. Except, it was such a mouthful it prompted a range of not‑so‑good responses, and it was quickly dropped. In several ways though, my client was right.

It's there in our language – what do we say when we've achieved the highest level of understanding and clarity?
“I see

Retail basket journey development
The team work on a single-view of the business area of interest