Taming the ambiguity

Image from Visual Function by Paul Mijksenaar

Complex systems and cross-skilled people inevitably brings ambiguity to a project. What's the problem exactly? How are we doing this? I recall in-house product departments (100-200 people), with plenty of strong opinions on who to listen to and who to ignore (stakeholders, staff end users, back room silo'd departments). How can they decipher? Why are they editing inputs for me? I just want to listen to everyone at first. Negative or difficult opinions can be read between the lines, exposing anxieties and concerns. When the problem isn't clear, it's chaos. And then people want to see progress already. I find mental modelling sketches provide a powerful tool for plotting the territory and steering conversations. To frame and contextualise the cacophony of requirements, concerns, old habits, opinions. It's an interesting and challenging phase of a project - yet people respond well to a simple diagram, and of course it evolves. It's a very human space. Messy - as people often are.