XPLANE xBlog visual thinking http://xblog.xplane.com XPLANE http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss en-us Sat, 31 Jan 2015 08:03:35 -0700 email@addresshere.com Sat, 31 Jan 2015 08:03:35 -0700 Interview with Ryan Brown, New Senior Designer http://xblog.xplane.com/interview-with-ryan-brown-new-senior-designer/ Tell us briefly about your role at XPLANE: My role is to tell stories with pictures. Day-to-day as a senior designer, I partner with consultants to help visualize clients’ challenges, and then bring those sketches back to the shop to create something insightful and impactful with the creative team. My role is to help connect the dots (right after drawing them), lead project teams, and be a partner, resource, and support for folks... Project Managers, Scourge or Angel? Interview with Christopher Knaus http://xblog.xplane.com/project-managers-scourge-or-angel-interview-with-christopher-knaus/ Our very own Christopher Knaus, Director of Program Management, was recently a guest on PushPull Podcast discussing Project Management; what makes a great PM, how to work with multiple PMs, and how does one get that magic PM sauce? Listen to Episode 30: Project Managers, Scourge or Angel?   Design Powered Action http://xblog.xplane.com/design-powered-action/ The pace of change and transformation and initiatives and ‘insert your favorite business-bingo term’ is evident. We see it - feel it - everyday. It’s the constant pressure everyone feels - from the newly minted graduate to the Fortune 50 CEO. It’s inescapable; it’s the new-norm of the business world. We see the ‘listacles' every day: 5 ways to be more productive, 7 key practices to make your organization... Organizational Minimalism and the Art of Subtraction http://xblog.xplane.com/organizational-minimalism-and-the-art-of-subtraction/ Tis the season for home organization, cleaning up, and cleaning out. I, like many people, spent my time over the break battling the crowds at big box stores on a mission to take back my garage. As I stood stressing over the many storage shelving, racks, and container options I closed my eyes and pictured the items I was trying to contain. It suddenly hit me, what purpose are these things serving? Do they provide more value than the space they... I Had a Dream http://xblog.xplane.com/i-had-a-dream/ No, I am not channeling Martin Luther King. Rather, I started the New Year awakened from a very vivid dream, which I hope will provide some inspiration for my actions in 2015.    In my dream, I was brainstorming a new business with my three adult daughters. For some reason, we landed on a DIY home improvement business. Perhaps the fact that they always thought of me as a Tim Allen Home Improvement kind of guy had an... How to Avoid Being “That HR Person” in Three Simple Steps http://xblog.xplane.com/how-to-avoid-being-that-hr-person”-in-three-simple-steps/ Many of my friends have an almost visceral negative reaction when I suggest they look at going into the HR profession. Mainly, I assume, because of the picture most people have of HR -which is not flattering to say the least.    People often view HR as rule following, busy bodies that care more about being right than being compassionate. Unfortunately, based on my experience this archetype is at times pretty accurate.   The... How to Survive the Office When Your Dominant Hand Isn't Available http://xblog.xplane.com/how-to-survive-the-office-when-your-dominant-hand-isnt-available/ I recently underwent a minor arm surgery (nothing major, no need for sympathy), which has taken my dominant hand out of commission. For anyone this would be a major inconvenience. If I worked a construction job, or some other job that 100% relied on this hand, I’d have just taken the time off work and waited for it to heal. Instead, I am a project manager, and while I have no illusions that my projects would have likely continued along... Culture Mapping http://xblog.xplane.com/culture-mapping/ Last week XPLANE’s Director of Consulting, Stephanie, and I headed down to San Francisco to run a workshop on Culture Mapping. The workshop was part of a three part series on culture design, hosted by Culture Lab SF.     For us, understanding the audience and their needs is always the focal point of any experience design. In this case we anticipated that our audience would be mixed. We’d likely see representation... Belling the Cat http://xblog.xplane.com/belling-the-cat/ There are a lot of jokes about consultants, and in the last 20 years I think I’ve probably heard them all. The crux of most of these jokes is that consultants have their heads in the clouds. They are impractical, good at thinking but not so good at doing. A good strategy is, after all, only half the battle. The rest is execution. This reminds me of the story about the mice who held a meeting to figure out what they should do about the... Cuddling Clients http://xblog.xplane.com/cuddling-clients/ Finding new ways to communicate complex business information, that is truly engaging, is the greatest challenge in our work.  I love my work because I believe in doing this visually, since it naturally connects to how we function as humans.  Oftentimes information requires more structure than text can provide to convey complex content and tell a story.  I’m not into this simply because I like to draw,...