A useful Benefit Realisation Approach


I have added a page regarding Benefit Realisation into my Visual Thinking Library.

I am deliberately keeping this entry short for the sake of not splitting the discussion into two (for this blog entry and the linked page). I consider the linked page the main entry and I will have another blog entry in case I change it.

Flying Logic for Visual Thinking

Some time ago, I was pointed towards a software tool called “Flying Logic” from Sciral. I was told that Flying Logic would support to plan backwards from the goal. I like software that helps me to display my thoughts (I call that “Visual Thinking”) and I fully subscribe to the thinking backwards idea (famously promoted by Stephen Covey’s “7 habits for highly successful people” as “Begin with the End in Mind“). 

The structure of this post
Therefore I downloaded the software and used the 30 days trial to play a bit around. Flying Logic is actually a tool that maintains a directed graph. Each node of the graph has a type that is shown as a description. Therefore you can have a “goal” node or an “action” node. This is very simple and you can only influence the colour of the node frame based on the type. Flying Logic auto-layouts the graph without giving you many possibilities to influence the graph. The focus is clearly on clarity – not on creating the nicest graphs. But the result is decent. You can use these facilities to create your own node types and therefore to create your own thinking “grammar”. As an example, I tried to prepare this blog entry based on a simple grammar using “Fact”, “My part of the story”, and “Conclusion”. It isn’t the perfect grammar yet, but it allowed me to arrange the pieces of this entry first visually before the writing. Which was for once fast and straightforward. On the support page you can see that other people use the tool for areas like web-page design where they use their own custom-designed grammar to plan a webpage.  
Flying Logic has a set of already defined grammars “out-of-the-box”. Those grammars are mainly related to “Theory of Constraints” (TOC). TOC is a so-called management philosophy. Thankfully, Flying Logic comes with an eBook explaining TOC. Whilst what I read was really interesting I quickly found out that the eBook is very dense, i.e. packed with information. Hooked as I was I started to map out the content of the book and created a TOC mindmap – another way of “Visual Thinking”. By now I use Flying Logic regularly and use my mindmap as a guide to the eBook and to TOC. 
Mindmap: Theory of Constraints with Flying Logic
TOC provides different model types that help you focus on different aspects. Two of these models are the “Current Reality Tree”, which is used to analyse the weaknesses of the current situation, and the “Future Reality Tree”, which is used to envision a future solution. The latter, the Future Reality Tree, is actually the model type that let to me learning about Flying Logic. You start with the goal and analyse from there backwards how to achieve that goal. The provided grammar helps to think in a constructive way.
Overall, Flying Logic is a simple tool that allows you to display your thoughts. It comes with strong support for a backward thinking (“Begin with the End in Mind”) due to the underlying theoretical framework TOC. My understanding to the framework is available here as a mindmap. But Flying Logic is not limited to the framework and you can easily create your own graphs types. The tool isn’t cheap, but it was worth the money for me. 

New Mindmap: Information Rules

I added a new mindmap on my website. This one covers the first chapter of a book on the nature of the information business. It shows some interesting aspects that everybody has to keep in mind when developing a business model on information. Why only the first chapter? Because it is the overview chapter. If you are interested in more on a specific topic, just read the according chapter. 

New Mindmap: Enterprise Architecture as a Strategy

I released another of my mindmaps. This is on an Enterprise Architecture book that I can recommend for people working in the EA area or for people coming from the business side to IT. I refer to the 4 maturity stages on a regular base as the model sets the scene for much of my current work.

Bruce Silver: BPMN Method & Style, Mindmap for Level 1

I currently think a lot about the automation of workflows. Therefore, it is not surprising that I read about the topic. And as usual, I try to create a mindmap to be able to remember what I read. Depending on my time, more mindmaps will result from this book. This mindmap is capturing (what I think) are the essentials for the first model (Level 1) of the method of the author. The mindmap can be downloaded from my webpage.

New Mindmap on Crucial Conversations

Just uploaded my mindmap of “Crucial Conversations”. I wish I would have read the book years ago. It is one of these books that connects so many things together that you already know. Hardly anything of it is new. And still it is the first time these “no-brainers” are collected and put into context. And suddenly it all makes sense. Give it a try!