« »
February 5, 2004 » 4:09 pm

Dialog Mapping Use Cases

The Compendium Dialogue Mapping tool came up in conversation on the Collaboration Collaboratory. In the course of the discussion, I explained that I use Compendium for three purposes:    (XW)

  • Personal note-taking.    (XX)
  • Taking shared notes during meetings.    (XY)
  • Facilitating face-to-face group meetings.    (XZ)

John Sechrest asked in response:    (Y0)

I have a client come in. We talk about what? And that causes what to show up on the compendium screen?    (Y1)

Specifically, what is the social process that compendium is facilitating?    (Y2)

And how is that different than just writing an outline in an editor?    (Y3)

I mean different things by taking notes on a Shared Display versus facilitating group meetings, so I’ll treat them separately in answering John’s questions.    (Y4)

There are three advantages to taking shared notes real-time. First, you know that a record is being kept of the meeting, which is reassuring. Second, you know that the notes are immediately available. Third, you have the chance to validate the notes as they are being taken.    (Y5)

Taking notes on a Shared Display is a great pattern, regardless of the tool you use. In fact, using a Wiki or a program like SubEthaEdit instead of Compendium may be more valuable in some ways because the note-taking can be collective. When I use Compendium to do this, only I can edit the notes.    (Y6)

The advantage that Compendium has over these other tools is the graphical IBIS grammar. IBIS (which can be expressed as a text outline) is slightly more semantically rigorous and slightly more compact than an outline. Graphical IBIS is superior to a textual outline, because the second dimension serves an additional reference for finding what you’re looking for.    (Y7)

Another advantage of the IBIS grammar is that it encourages, even forces participants to consider the underlying questions (a precursor to the Left-Hand Move pattern). This really comes through in facilitated meetings (with facilitators who are trained in Dialogue Mapping).    (Y8)

The most important thing Dialogue Mapping does in a facilitation context is depoliticize discussion. Dialogue Mapping focuses attention on ideas rather than on people by making sure that all ideas are captured and captured anonymously.    (Y9)

Jeff Conklin, the man responsible for graphical IBIS and Dialogue Mapping, has written a book on Dialogue Mapping that does a great job of explaining how it’s best used as well as the underlying theory. I’m not sure if the book is available yet, but I’ll check. In the meantime, I highly recommend Jeff’s Dialog Mapping workshops. I wrote an article a few years back describing one of these workshops.    (YA)

Tags: , , , , , ,

« »

One Response to “Dialog Mapping Use Cases”

  1. Eugene, in http://eekim.com/blog/2004/02/dialog-mapping-use-cases/#nidY6, notes that collective note-taking is a good thing. We have a trick for doing this with Compendium also, using shared chat sessions with Instant Messaging. See http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/selvin/examples/Compendium-IM-DnD.jpg

Leave a Reply