Determining how best to communicate requirements to stakeholders on your project can be difficult if you have a challenging audience who has resistance, for whatever reason, towards the project you’re working on. I was working on a project several months ago in which one of the major stakeholder groups felt that the work we were doing would essentially automate them right out of a job. They had expressed resistance towards the traditional model sets we had created to accompany the requirements, and were particularly resistant to the process flow format. The fact that their job functions were being converted into a Visio document with small boxes outlining what they did every day may have been a contributing factor, as it mirrored their feelings about the automation project in general.
We had to think of a way to communicate the future state processes to this group that would support their buy-in and garner enthusiasm for the launch of the project. We decided to go the creative route, and rather than have future state processes modeled in Visio with traditional boxes and arrows, we generated process flow storyboards in PowerPoint using Microsoft Clip Art. This way, by clearly depicting people in our future state processes, they could see how our work wouldn’t leave them without a job, but would rather make the jobs they have to do every day far easier.
The end result was fantastic. The stakeholders absolutely loved the storyboards, and they were able to digest the material in a way that facilitated productive feedback as well as a better understanding of how our system would help them to work more efficiently in the future.