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A palette of sketching templates

Sketching is a simple, and equally quick and clear thinking- and communication tool which can support change management tasks - be it problem analysis, development of a solution or interactive communication with various stakeholders. The picture in the video below shows twelve different typical forms of sketches which can be either used individually, in pairs or small groups in everyday business tasks when it comes to structure discussions, develop a common understanding, analyze dependencies or plan procedures.

Our palette of sketching templates distinguishes between sketches that make structures or relationships visible, and others which represent processes or procedures. To make structures (e.g. relationships) visible, simple shapes such as Venn diagrams (overlapping circles), matrices, pyramids, trees or mind maps and cluster representations are the most useful. To design and understand processes and interactions, system diagrams (cause-effect loops), process sketches, spirals (in repetitive activities), agenda lines (also called trackers) or funnel sketches (e.g. for selection processes) support you the most. Sketches with two axes are suitable for visually discussing processes (e.g. motivation courses after a merger) or dependencies (e.g. the influence of communication on motivation). Sketches are suitable for paper-based two-by-two discussions, flipchart-based group discussions or for interactive whiteboards and touch screen monitors. Of importance for all forms of sketches is that they allow all participants to contribute and modify the sketch.

In recent years, the theoretical and practical literature on the subject of sketching has been steadily increasing. One of the main reasons for this may be the high number of benefits that such analytical (as opposed to technical or artistic) hand drawings can provide for collaboration and decision making in management. These benefits have been discussed and demonstrated in various research projects on the topic of sketching, primarily in the areas of design, engineering and psychology.