Last week, I went to the Agile Tour in Aix-Marseille. I met many interesting people, but what I enjoyed most was discovering graphic facilitation.

What is graphic facilitation?

Graphic facilitation is a practice used in business meetings, especially meetings on strategy, planning, and human resources. The process is quite simple: During a meeting, the graphic facilitator draws a visual representation of ideas in real time as topics are discussed. The drawings are used to generate ideas and help summarize the discussion.

What are the benefits?

Drawings can be effective tools. A few arrows and shapes can describe so much more than plain text. It’s quite easy to draw sellers, customers, places, products, shipping, payment, feedback, prescribers or CRM, database, mailing, etc.

For instance, here is my first try as a graphic facilitator:

graphic facilitation

I obviously lack skill as an artist, but what does it matter? The drawing isn’t meant to compete with the “Mona Lisa” for a spot at the Louvre; it’s designed to present a business idea? So, my question to you is, Did you understand my drawing?

When it comes to a graphic facilitation, the most important thing is the meaning. Many advertisements are based on real-time drawings because people focus on meaning more than on design or shape of things.

How to get started?

The only way is to practice. According to Romain Couturier (http://terredagile.com), an Agile coach who presented at last week’s tour, the only skill needed is the ability to draw squares, triangles, circles, and a few other shapes. The video “Learning Graphic Facilitation” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5DJC6LaOCI) suggests using basic drawing skills to craft people and places.

Text can be used to accentuate a drawing. For example, if your horse looks more like a turtle, complement your drawing by writing “horse” on it. The point is to make your meaning clear.

Why don’t you try?

So how do you feel about drawing? The worst that could happen is that you generate new ideas.

Keep me updated on how that goes. Share your comments here.