Ekkli v2

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Ekkli v1 was a tool to make decision making in teams more effective by making the discussion visual & structured. We found out that although having a visual discussion does make the communication much more effective, the model we’ve used is too structured & specific, & doesn’t address many other types of communication in distributed teams that are very ineffective & time-consuming.

So we went back to the drawing board, to think how can we make a simple visual tool that can facilitate more effective conversations, of any type. What we found out is that most conversations revolve around some kind of “road”: teams are like a large organism that moves together in some territory toward some goal, and the internal communication is the glue that enables the team to move together.

In particular, almost all conversations try to answer questions like:

  • Where do we want to go & what are the next steps to get there?
  • What possible paths do we have & which of them should we follow?
  • Where are you on your way & how did you arrive here?

The visual metaphor that immediately came to mind is that of Metro maps, that are very common & intuitive for depicting roadmaps. So today I’m glad to announce a new version of Ekkli, based on this simple metaphor.

For few years now, I’ve personally been using it in my daily work: for every new project or task I always draw an Ekkli map, & share it with my team. I also have a map for every day, keeping me focussed on what I need to do.

The compelling benefits for me are that:

  • I always see the path to my goal & the next steps to get there
  • I record everything I learn on my way, & any divergence from the plan
  • I can switch between contexts quickly & easily, because I have the full context on the map: where exactly did I stop, what have I completed & what’s left to do
  • Everything is depicted in 1 visual map that I can read & update in seconds

 

 

The original source code is here, & there’s also a fork that was created in GitHub by some other group of developers.