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How different are the mental models people hold about a project?
People construct in their heads a mental model of what a project is trying to achieve but there’s no guarantee that different people’s models are the same.
What do they get from the documents, presentations and discussions?
Previously, we’ve relied on people reading long documents, watching presentations and engaging in verbal discussions about a project. The idea is that they’ll construct an understanding of the common mental model regarding the project. However, it’s very difficult for most people to actually do this. There is also no way of quickly checking whether the individuals involved really understand the common mental model.
A DoView® visual model is a representation a shared mental model
You can work out if there are conflicts between people’s models
If people’s models only remain within their heads or in fragmented documentation, presentations and ongoing verbal discussions, it’s possible that they will continue to hold different mental models of what the project is seeking.
By getting people’s individual models out and represented within a single shared mental model, differences of opinion about outcomes or strategy become obvious and these can then be talked through and dealt with.
The model works as a concrete manifestation of the group’s model
Once there is general agreement on the shared model reprented within the DoView, the group can then work directly on it. It acts as a concrete manifestation of the group’s share model.
Working in this way means there’s much less slippage caused by different understandings and much more alignment around achieving the outcomes by following the pathway outlined in the shared model.