Visual Thinking

Dan Roam has developed a universal problem-solving methodology that relies on the power of images and the „Code of Visual Thinking“ offers a suitable diagram for any application. His goal is to explain a complex problem on a napkin:
http://www.thebackofthenapkin.com/

With his new work Blah Blah Blah Dan Roam further fights against the „Bull Shit Bingo“, when someone talks diffuse using bullet point slides.  Now he things that you have to combine linguistic thinking with visual creativity. He says: „Be Double Minded with ViVid Thinking“ …
http://www.danroam.com/

Meanwhile, he also offers help in learning the visualization techniques:
http://www.napkinacademy.com/

Also interesting is the work of David Sibbet in this context. He explained how „Visual Meetings“ can engage the entire group by using the „Graphical Recorder“ – where you try to visualize what another person is explaining. He also emphasizes the importance of a good metaphor to reach a common understanding. With respect to distributed teams read his book: Visual Teams. More information and graphics Temples can be found at
http://www.grove.com

In the German-speaking countries there is some research in St.Gallen at the university:
http://www.lets-focus.com

The Management Atlas they have written is a beautiful book with graphic metaphors for  common management practices:
http://buch.lets-focus.com/

User Stories

To capture requirements in the form of stories – at best with a universal metaphor – is one of the agile values. In particular, Mike Cohn has done much here. Here is the concise formula:

As a *role*, I want *goal/desire* so that *benefit*

Somehow the story formula is quite boring.
Small tip: an additional sketch or a little picture will increase recognition and just makes more fun …

The most emportent effect of Story Telling is to fascinate „your audience“ in the spell. This will help to „sell“ your ideas, see:
Slideology

Thanks also to see my brother in law Dr. Martin Westphal for the idea of the requirements as menu …