21NTC Session

Workshop: Draw a Map to Clarity

This is a resubmission of an accepted 20NTC session proposal.


Group decision-making for technology projects can go awry for many reasons: Do you all agree on a project’s needs, audience, and what success looks like? Do you know if you’re solving the right problem? It’s crucial to make these decisions before investing time and money in a project (e.g., revamping a website, moving to a new CRM, auditing a process), but it’s not always easy to communicate about them. Visual communication can help! Beyond the picture itself, the process of creating a picture together can help us “see” more clearly, and helps techies and non-techies get on the same page. We’ll share a few types of visual thinking methods, and how and when to use them. Not artistic? Not a problem! If you can draw a box and a straight(ish) line, you can communicate visually. We’ll also discuss using these methods through the life of a project.

Session Type

60 minute workshop

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how visual methods aid in framing the problem and communicate clearly in working towards a solution
  • Learn how to use visual communication to achieve clarity regardless of artistic ability or technical expertise
  • Build your toolbox with explanatory and exploratory maps, diagrams, and visual methods

Target Audience

Leaders, project managers, and technology staff who need help getting cross-functional teams on the same page and to a consensus


Hands-OnInteractiveProcessProject Management


Adrienne Figus

Project Manager

Smith College

Project manager, digital fundraiser, artist, and proud holder of an NTEN Nonprofit Technology Professional Certificate. Currently working in digital collections for libraries, archives, museums, and gardens.

Janice Chan


Shift and Scaffold

Janice Chan is a nonprofit technologist turned service designer, translating her experience as a volunteer manager, communications lead, and instructional designer into usable processes and inclusive experiences. Throughout her work, she seeks to facilitate connection and to improve the defaults. Currently, she consults (shiftandscaffold.com) and teaches data management for NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Professional Certificate program. Outside of work, Janice enjoys traveling, eating new foods, building community, and making playlists.

Brianna Ilyse Collins

Independent consultant

- None -

Brianna has 10 years of experience as a creative professional in the nonprofit sector. She has worked in-house for organizations, at agencies that work with nonprofits, and most recently as an independent consultant, managing projects like branding, website revamps, multi-channel marketing campaigns, and design for print and web. She is passionate about helping nonprofits tell their stories in visually engaging and accessible ways.



March 24, 2021


8:30am – 9:30am