What's the Value of Storyboarding?
In a business world where we are deluged with data and information, storyboarding brings discipline, structure and critical thinking to how an individual or an organisation can address a particular question or issue they wish to communicate to an audience of one or many.
In short, it will help you see the woods for the trees.
Storyboarding can be conducted at a sprint or a walk – it all depends on the nature of the question or issue under consideration and the proximity of the deadline for completion. We recommend storyboarding is undertaken collectively. It should deliver most benefits with:
An accountable executive sponsor authorising the work to be done to address the question or issue
A project manager to marshal the team required to deliver and keep the process on time and on quality
Clear management of expectations among all stakeholders about what the desired outcome is and the commitment to getting there.
How to stand out
Creating that stand out client pitch, tender response, or compelling point of view is not an exact science, but a common approach to creating it can set you on the right path.
What is your target?
Ask yourself what target you are seeking to successfully hit. Is it a:
Client Pitch – what is the question you seek to answer for your client?
Tender Response – what are the requirements you must meet or exceed?
Point of View – what is the specific issue or challenge you are addressing?
At the outset, agreeing the question, requirements or issue can be an exhausting process all on its own.
Building your picture will require time and effort, but it need not be painful.
You can benefit from pausing to consider the pieces of the jigsaw you will require in order to achieve the successful outcome you seek.
But how do you ever really know if you have found all the pieces of the jigsaw? And will the many stakeholders engaged in the process agree with you? Or will your project chaotically veer down one rabbit hole after another as try to find that elusive panacea answer?
All too often ambiguity exists in the minds of the various stakeholders about the end product – from messaging and evidence, to structure and size…
The different parts of the organisation will often have different perspectives about the what the end product (the deliverable) should look like. How many times have you:
Worked successive late nights time and again…
To meet tight timelines but never really felt in control…
But ended up never quite satisfied with the final submission…
And just relieved the project is over?
Striking the right balance
With deadlines for completion often tight, can your organisation afford to bounce backwards and forwards between competing stakeholder views? Striking the balance right to satisfy these competing perspectives is a fine and delicate art.
Are you always comfortable that you can manage the range of expectations?
The ability to herd cats was not on the job spec we applied for – right?
Wouldn’t it be great if the process could be ‘de-stressed’ as much as possible because everyone was on the same page at the start?
So how do you ensure all your stakeholders have ‘skin in the game’ and are aligned from the start – giving you a better chance of delivering on time and quality?
Benefits of storyboarding
Many professional services companies advocate the use of storyboarding, as it provides a planning mechanism for capturing data and information in a structured format.
It ensures a disciplined, efficient and effective approach to project management and document writing (reports, tender responses, presentations)
It helps generate clarity around governance, as it provides the basis for understanding about where accountability lies for key decisions e.g. all stakeholders know what they are contributing to the final deliverable
Sponsor sign off is required to move from the ‘planning’ to the ‘writing’ stage.
Core principles of storyboarding
•The end point for the journey (the question and hypothesis) must be known before you set off down the road
•But like any journey, while you may know the end point and some of the key landmarks ahead, the detail will be gathered along the route
•You must clearly signpost there will be two-way traffic all the way i.e. an iterative and consultative process during the journey, not just near the end.
Creating a storyboard
For details on how to create a storyboard in practice and for storyboarding examples, please download the full insight PDF below.
For further information, please contact:
Chris Staerck, Director and Consulting Lead, WEIGHT LIFTED
About WEIGHT LIFTED
Weight Lifted is a newly formed London-based business with 50 years of combined experience in marketing, communications, design and consulting. We believe passionately in delivering a first-class outcome and experience for all our clients.