Board - The LabThe ‘board’ is a visual representation of the Plan B method. The roadmap with 6+1 stages.

This can be a valuable tool.
It can be used to keep track, and as a communication and collaboration tool during the process. 

Within teams, but also with people outside of the project.

The board can be used in many ways.
Mainly, it is used to communicate about the process
(we are here now, we are going to phase x now, let’s go back to x, we park as this, etc).

Beside the use within teams,
the tool also proved to be very suitable to communicate with clients, steering groups and people outside the project.
Because it shows (the progress) of the project in a simple and fast way.

The large posters are used in more ways.
People hang the big posters on the wall.
They draw and write on it or put post-its on it.
They put timelines in stages to use it as a planning tool,
They place outcomes of phases on it and even add budgets to it (for example in the form of sticky notes with bags of money).
Or they put it on their wall as a reminder
Or they just think it looks kind of cool ;-)

Another notable side effect of the poster format is that it can help to involve people.
Placing it somewhere visible can lead to curiosity and interest of outsiders
(What’s going on? What are they doing? Plan B, what is that?)
This can be a pleasant extra supplement for team members,
not only because others take their own initiative to be involved,
but it also makes them feel good;
they work on something that – also in the eyes of others – is interesting and captivating.

So, a visual representation of a roadmap can be a valuable tool.
And can be used in several ways.

The story behind the visual Plan B Lab

The visual representation of the Plan B method is based on the concept of ‘The Lab’.
You can see Plan B as a laboratory, a place where things occur, where there is experimentation and creation, where things are taught, combined, where mistakes are made and where great discoveries are done.

There is a framework placed around the Lab to define the boundary of the playground.

The 6+1 stages are visualized in 6 +1 tables.
Notice that there are no closed frames or boxes around the stages.
This is to emphasize the non-linear character of the method.
See it as a system of spaces, each with a different field of attention.

All the phases are related to each other.
During the process, you can return to a stage several times,
you will always switch between phases and sometimes they even occur in parallel.
There is a certain „logical” direction in the process.
You can see this movement in the yellow line.
(Note: see there’s no end in the yellow line. It’s always a cyclic process.)

BTW. We’ve tested this design exhaustively. As we have done with all our tools. The colours, representation, words…everything is tested – big time. Until it worked like it was used to be. Until the design was the best we could make to (want to) use in practice.

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