Creating a shared language
What does “green transition” actually look like?
Gate 21 is a partnership between municipalities, companies and knowledge institutions, that work with the common goal of accelerating the green transition. Within five focus areas (Buildings & Cities; Transportation; Energy; Circular Economy & Resources; Smart City) Gate 21 project managers help partners develop new technologies, services, platforms, tools, processes and skills that support local efforts towards green transition and business opportunities for green growth.
As an organization Gate 21 is constantly on the lookout for new tools and skills, which can support the project managers in meeting the expectations and needs of the partners, and in handling multi-stakeholder projects within new and complex topics. The project managers head up short and longer running projects, they lead project meetings, steering committees and network and partner meetings. Their work demands clear communication, high level of engagement and agility in terms of how best to move forward with constantly developing targets.
We spent time understanding the context of Gate 21, the everyday language and needs specific to the participating project managers. We looked into the current use of visuals and mapped out various kinds of concepts the team might find useful. Together with the projectlead we agreed to the right amount of preparation and what cases would be most relevant to work with as a team. Due to the seniority and experience of the project managers and their tight schedules it was agreed that an intense training session would be the right fit.
A one-day workshop where a team of 16 senior project managers were introduced to the Five Visual Design Loops. In five sprints four teams created each a set of prototypes for their specific context: Process designs, visual languages, questions, templates and storyboards. After eight hours the project managers walked away with a clear understanding how they might benefit from a more visual way of working.
“This has been good for the team, an eye-opener for the possibilities and benefits of a more visual way of working. We work this way already given the field and nature of our projects, but to be more systematic about when and how to use it, is really valuable. Each of our team members will use it in their own way, but now we have a shared foundation for the work.
Pernille Skjershede Nielsen, Programme Director, Gate 21
Visual way of working