Glossary of Terms

[A-M] [N-Z]

December 6, 1996

Process Facilitator
An individual who facilitates the work of the KreW and the Facilitator during the DesignShop® event. See roles and duties here.

The subset of the KreW of a DesignShop® event charged with keeping track of all of the documentation generated by the DesignShop process and assembling it into paper and electronic Journals for distribution to the participants, usually within a few days of the end of the event. Journals may be 500 or more pages in length. The new documentation process allows the Journal to be captured in a database for ease of use in an electronic format.

Project Status Map
A project management tool that employs a matrix of projects listed down one side and days or weeks listed across the top. There are two ways to use a project status map: (1) for each sub task within a project, place a tag along the project's line under the date when the sub task is due. Then track the progress of work on each sub task through a system of visual indicators (green for go, red for holding, blue for completed, etc.); (2) if you're tracking a number of identical projects, advance a single tag along each project's line to indicate the status of the project. Project status maps are most appropriate for projects whose scale and complexity tend to make them linear progressions of tasks. If there are many parallel tasks or the duration of the project runs for many quarters or years, an ANDMap® system or similar project management tool is more appropriate.

Radiant Room
This is the name we give to the large space in a Management Center® environment where the participants gather together as one body to hear reports or have synthesis discussions of some sort. The focus of the Radiant Room is a long WorkWall® unit called the Radiant Wall that may be straight, folding or curving depending on the design of the individual center. Some Radiant Walls stretch to over 40 feet in length. The back side of the Radiant Wall is frequently covered with an adhesive material made by 3M to which paper can be adhered and removed many times over. This is called the KnowledgeWall™ display, although you may hear it called the Sticky Wall by old timers in the network.

The term Radiant Wall comes from Isaac Asimov's idea of a Radiant Cube that he introduces in the third volume of his Foundation Trilogy. The cube is a device that holds the plans for the rebirth of an entire galactic civilization, yet sits unobtrusively on a table top. When a Speaker from the Second Foundation focuses his mind on the cube, it projects the plan on the walls of the room. With further mental effort the Speaker can navigate the plan from start to finish, zoom in to more detail or pull out to a more general landscape, and see the record of all the changes that have been made to the plan and all of the contingencies built into it as well.

RDS™ Environment
Rapid Deployment Solution. Also called Rapid Deployment System. Also called the Transportable Management Center. An entire kit of WorkWall® units, Work Stations, Break-out Tables, lighting, computers, network, video cameras, video technical direction equipment, video editing equipment, supplies, library, games and toys sufficient to support a multiple day DesignShop® event for a group varying from five to one hundred participants and up to thirty or so KreW. The RDS environment is shipped in trucks and takes a day or two to assemble and tear down depending on the size of the event.

Read Ahead
A collection of materials delivered to participants up to a week or so in advance of a DesignShop® event. The articles and books chosen for a Read Ahead will serve one of two purposes: provide more information concerning the problem to be created and solved during the DesignShop process, and to stretch thinking and introduce new ideas that challenge preconceptions. The Facilitator, Process Facilitator, Sponsor and perhaps one or two KreW members handle the selection, assembly and distribution.

Report Out
After participants have spent some time in Breakout Teams they are often invited to reassemble as a large group to hear each team report their work. To prepare for this report, the teams are asked to recreate (not copy) their work onto paper covered magnetic Hypertile™ palette (11x17 inches) which will adhere to the porcelain steel WorkWall® units. The group reassembles in a large room that usually has a very large, curving WorkWall systems called the Radiant Wall (some are over 40 feet long). The teams group their Hypertile palette on this wall either by team or by some other sorting category, or they place them on the wall as they are being discussed. The tiles can be moved about and drawn around to sort, connect and emphasize ideas.

Rules of Engagement
A list of boundaries that must be set on a DesignShop® process, session, Management Center® environment or NavCenter™ System in order to secure success. The requirement of having no observers or visitors during a DesignShop event is an example (everyone either participates or they are on KreW). Another example is the limitation on the conduct of other business by the participants during the DesignShop process (it destroys breakout team integrity and compromises the product to have individuals constantly conducting other business away from the team on the phone).

Scenario Exercise
A module of a DesignShop® event that is frequently employed to uncover assumptions among the participants regarding how they think about trends, the past and the future. It's usually done in large group on the Radiant Wall. The Radiant Wall is divided horizontally into time frames. Sometimes the Scenario considers the distant past--up to 30,000 years ago, passes through the present (usually the current year plus or minus 5-10 years) and ends sometime in the future. Participants stand before the wall one at a time and state an event they wish to place on the timeline (sometimes further defined by the facilitator's instructions) and perhaps its significance. Then they write that event on the wall under the year it occurred. Then the next participant places their event on the wall. This may continue through all of the participants and through several rounds. The exercise is very flexible in terms of how the wall is laid out, what types of events the participants are asked to place on the wall, and how Sketch Hogs are employed to augment and synthesize the visual display. A good synthesist on the KreW can predict much of the outcome of the DesignShop event and the solution to the problem simply by studying a well-executed scenario.

A module of a DesignShop® event usually preceded by a Take-A-Panel® exercise wherein participants assemble into teams and visit each team member's panel--or WorkWall® unit--in succession to hear a report of the work scribed on that panel. After each team member has reported their individual work, the team usually assembles in a Breakout Area to either synthesize what they've heard, or begin work on another exercise. If the total number of participants in a DesignShop event is small, they may all participate in the exercise, which is then called a "Walk-About". After each participant has had an opportunity to share their panel, the entire group may assemble for a synthesis discussion or may be divided into Breakout Teams to begin another round of work.

Sketch Hog
Also called a scribe. A KreW member skilled in listening to a conversation or presentation and capturing its essence and significance in illustrated and annotated diagrams on WorkWall® units, paper, computer, or in a 3D physical model. Sketch Hogs are called upon to support participants in Breakout Teams to illustrate their ideas, work before the large group during synthesis discussions, create finished art and icons to support the production of the Journal, and to create finished art and diagrams to support any follow-on work products.

Sponsor (Client)
(See also DesignShop Sponsor.) An individual or small group who hold primary responsibility or a principal stake in the outcome of a DesignShop® event, NavCenter™ System, Management Center™ environment, or session. Often the sponsor is the champion of the idea which the shop or center is designed to address. The sponsor may also be a manager or executive. Often a sponsor team is assembled made up of representatives from various constituents who comprise the participants in the DesignShop.

Sponsor (Knowledge Worker)
An experienced individual (usually of Journeyman level) who assists and supports another Knowledge Worker through the transition into, through, and out of the MG Taylor ValueWeb™ system. The sponsor is not necessarily a mentor, and is usually chosen my mutual agreement--never assigned. Assigning sponsors would violate the pattern of "Stepping Up" or self-selecting tasks and projects from the work to be done. Sponsors are literally individual transition managers.

Sponsor (NavCenter™ Environment)
An individual, or most commonly a team who champions the purpose, mission and existence of a NavCenter Environmemt. Since NavCenter Systems are established to support a particular project or purpose, the Sponsor may also be the project manager. Because a NavCenter System represents a way of work which radically departs from the behavior of the rest of the organization, the Sponsor should have a position of authority within the organization as well.

Sponsor Session
Usually a three or four hour session attended by the client sponsor (individual or team), the key facilitator, the process facilitator, and supported by one or more KreW. The purpose of this session is to develop clear objectives for the DesignShop® event, work on assembling the right participant list, decide on general logistics arrangements, take a first cut at the design of the DesignShop process, and get a general idea of what sort of products should be generated during and after the DesignShop event.

Before each DesignShop, the Event Facilitator (Key Facilitator) and/or the Process Facilitator generates a first cut at the design of the event. Sometimes this process is completed formally in a Sponsor Session with the DesignShop® Sponsor, the Facilitator and Process Facilitator. These sessions are documented. The Strawdog summarizes the planners' thinking in terms of the purpose of the DesignShop event, the desired outcomes and the individual modules that comprise the design. Usually the first half of the shop is outlined in detail; the rest cannot be designed until the event is underway.

Take-A-Panel® Exercise
A module of a DesignShop® event wherein the participants take one panel of a WorkWall® unit (about 6' tall by 4' wide) each and compose on it answers to an assignment. The exercise allows all of the participants to be heard, to express their ideas in whatever visual fashion they wish, and have their ideas available to be viewed by other participants and captured by the DesignShop KreW. This exercise is usually succeeded by a Share-A-Panel exercise.

A session during which the DesignShop® event is designed, including all of the modules, assignments, and team configurations. Day one is rigorously designed, day two a little less so, and day three may be rather sketchy at this point. The Client Sponsors, Facilitators, Process Facilitators and KreW participate in the WalkThru. Usually a "straw dog" design of the shop is presented at the beginning, but sometimes the design proceeds from scratch (no pun intended--dog, scratch,.... get it??).

An acronymn coined by Robert Heinlein in a science fiction short story: We Also Walk Dogs. It was the slogan of a large network of "knowledge workers" which could be galvanized to accomplish nearly any task imaginable for any client whatsoever, from the largest engineering project to simply walking someone's dog. The concept of a WAWD team in MG Taylor is a consortium of knowledge workers, or enterprises of one, who are linked together in a vast value web, and whose expertise, skills, and passions can be focused on helping clients imagine visions and then implement them anywhere on the globe.

Writing Team
A subset of the KreW and Sponsors of a DesignShop® event charged with crafting the assignments that participants will work on in their Breakout Teams. The term "craft" is key here. Assignments are not composed without considerable thought. When you consider that a single assignment will consume perhaps 1/6 of the duration of a DesignShop process and that the reports from such an assignment will steer the entire content and tone of the DesignShop event, it's easy to understand their importance.

Work Product
A synthesis or evolutionary product of the DesignShop whose purpose is to either crystallize some concept, detail and illustrate some plan, or take the participants beyond the information of the DesignShop into new realms they may not have considered yet. Its purpose is not to simplify, but to present the complicated and obtuse in a way that is merely very complex--so that it may be understood, but not watered down. [see articles on types of Work Products and how to create them.]

WorkWall® Units
Panels of light colored porcelain steel which accept a variety of marking materials such as chalks, dry erase markers, water colors, India ink, pastels, and water based markers. They are used by participants and KreW as a tool to support collaboration. A typical Management Center® environment may have more than 3,000 square feet of this surface available. Large or small groups can illustrate complex issues and detailed plans all within plain view of the entire group, and all easily editable. The amount of information that can be manipulated on these wall systems and the flexibility of erasing or adding to it, dwarfs the capabilities of butcher paper, flip charts, or projection systems. The walls are typically six or more feet high and may be any length. Rolling walls come in lengths from four to sixteen feet in length, some of which are folding. WorkWall units may also be permanently installed within the environment. The walls are manufactured by Athenaeum International.

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