What is Graphic Recording?
Where it all began:
I first learned about Graphic Recording when I attended a brainstorm session that was facilitated by a team that included a graphic recorder, Lisa Sorsa. I have always loved to draw, which originally lead me down a path into Architectural Drafting. I appreciated the structure and discipline needed to create building plans.
I became an Autodesk Certified instructor teaching both AutoCAD and Architectural Desktop. I loved the freedom and flexibility that CAD offered, removing the limitations of traditional paper. I think my drafting background created a strong foundation for how I now plan and prepare my graphic recordings.
As a business analyst, you really are the front line of change for an organization. When you are capturing their current process and exploring how they might be able to work more effectively and efficiently, you are helping them define a vision for the future. To get to that vision, you need to be able to see all the way through and that is where visualization is a powerful tool. Many times people can discuss what the end goal looks like, but it is always amazing to watch people’s reactions when you start to draw it out and add context and structure, that has created so many “ah-ha” moments!
Basically, Graphic Recording is ideal for almost anything that requires a group dynamic to be focused towards consensus and generate momentum towards achieving a goal.
Everyone can doodle
Many people think they need to be an artist to be a successful Graphic Recorder. I am NOT an artist, I did not go to art school, I simply like to doodle. I like the word “doodle” because it feels informal and without expectations. I try to promote what I do every chance I get because everyone is capable of it, we have just been brought up and taught that doodling is “not paying attention” (I heard that so many times in school). So most people’s “doodling” skills are just dormant and a little rusty… the more you start using it, like anything, the better your confidence will be. And confidence not to judge your doodle is the hardest part for people to overcome.
There are many great resources and groups out there! I was really lucky to find a great group of doodles through a twitter hashtag #todaysdoodle and many of them belong to the SketchNote Army. They are a supportive, inclusive group that I have learned so much from. It really just comes down to sticking with it and trying to learn and grow skills every day.
The Advantages of Digital Image Capture
With respect to tools, my preference is always digital capture over paper. Digital capture allows me far more flexibility to prep and reuse more detailed images for a recording then I could ever hope to create during an event. That is why I like to have a library, I can work on images and icons as part of my prep and create extra detail and add color without the fear of missing something important that is being said.
I hope my graphic recording video of “What is Graphic Recording?” helps to summarize what it is when you would use it, and why it is so powerful. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter, Linkedin or our website.
Tracey Levasseur lives in Canada and is a Senior Business Analyst with DecisionWorks, Inc. She has a passion for doodling and has incorporated it into her work as an analyst to assist her clients with turning their vision into action through visualization.
Learn more about Tracey:
LinkedIn: Tracey Levasseur