The Project Adventure Map. Go Left At Scope Creep Mountain.

So. We should have fun and creativity in projects.

So. The team should have a shared understanding of the goal and approach.

So. If people are involved you get acceptance and engagement, multiple point of views, and alignment. Co-creation is a powerful concept.

So. Metaphors and storytelling are useful techniques.

So. How do I get started?

Introducing… The Project Adventure Map!

Think about your project as a Big Adventure. You are trying to find a treasure. You are going to retrieve a stolen secret document. You are going to set the princess free. You have a goal.

Every project is a journey. It is never a straight line. You have to conquer obstacles, replan, regroup, rethink and change course.

Imagine your project as a map through unknown territory in search for The Goal.

The map reflects the storyline of the project. The episodes of the project life cycle. The glory days of starting the project. The period in which the project was under attack by vicious stakeholders.

Discuss the days from before the project. What happened to the hero of the Big Adventure? What was the kingdom like (you may also talk about “organization” or “company”) before the Big Adventure?

And when the Big Adventure started, how did the group emerge? Bob came down the mountains to create databases. Where did the rest came from? Why did they join The Big Adventure?

Yes, you are introducing the team. Yes, you are discussing the project goal and situation that has to be changed. Yes, you are aligning the shared view of the project history. Yes, you are creating a metaphor. Yes, you are appealing to the international language of storytelling. Yes, you might even crack a smile upon your face.

Yes. We’ll explore this technique more in detail.

Now go find your own story. Now go create your own Project Adventure Map.

Image by EdenPictures.


2 thoughts on “The Project Adventure Map. Go Left At Scope Creep Mountain.”

  1. User Avatar

    Thanks for your creative post, Bas! I sometimes ask a team to imagine that they are a vehicle on a journey, and to silently draw that vehicle and that journey as they perceive it . . . all team members drawing on one piece of paper together in silence. It’s interesting, and often amusing, what comes out of this exercise – snake pits, volcanoes, “Road out”. Through this exercise they come to perceive each other’s different perspectives, and their shared pain. Then I ask them to draw another picture of the ideal team in the ideal vehicle on the ideal journey. The team members get a lot of insights into their shared vision from this one. Try it with your next team! Bring a huge sheet of paper and a bunch of colored markers.

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