Dialogue Mapping

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Intent or purpose: 
The intent of this process is to structure meeting discussions, to assure that the focus stays on the issued topics and to ascertain that all opinions are heard, and comments are focused on the statements, not on the persons who said it.
Used as component of: 
This process is used to diagram meetings and discussions, and assure that everybody's contribution is heard and acknowledged. It creates forward progress, especially when dealing with highly complex or Wicked problems.
Types of Participants: 
Any types of participants can be involved in this process.
Recommended size of group: 
Remarks about group size: 
The group can be of any size.
Optimal amount of time needed: 
This process can be embedded in meeting discussions of any length, and also serve long-term projects.
Usual or Expected Outcomes: 
The outcome should be a structured discussion in which the opinion of every participant is heard, and all comments are recorded.
Level of participation: 
The level of participation is normal, they have to participate in a discussion of which the topic is set by the facilitator.
Ideal Conditions: 
In the room, everybody needs to be able to see the chart, or the screen, on which the map of the discussion is displayed.
How is success evaluated: 
The process is successful when the discussion was structured and has led to some kind of outcome or solution.
Type of Facilitator-Client Relationship: 
A special Facilitator-Client Relationship is not neccesary.
Level of Difficulty to Facilitate: 
Not set
Facilitator Personality Fit: 
The facilitator needs to do the mapping, and should therefore be familiar with a computer and a program that supports this method.
Setting and Materials: 
A shared display that is visible to all participants is needed(a chart board, but preferable a screen and a bright computer projector).
Resources Needed: 
There are no additional resources needed.
Pre-Work Required: 
There is no work that needs to be done beforehand.

The procedures for this process are easy and repetitive.
Using a simple graphical "language", called IBIS (Issue Based Information System) the facilitator simply captures what has been said.
After the participants have entered the room, the facilitator needs to explain what the topic of this meeting discussion will be.
As the people speak, the facilitator paraphrases and captures what has been said in a hypertext diagram, that can be seen on the screen by everyone.
With icons representing the basic elements of Dialogue Mapping grammar, being Questions (?), Ideas (light bulb), Pros (+) and Cons (-), the structure becomes simple and can be changed according to the discussion.

A free software for these maps can be found under References.

How flexible is the process?: 
The process is very flexible and can be integrated in any meeting
Follow-Up Required: 
There is no follow-up requiered.
Conklin, Jeff - 2005
Derived from: 
(Brain Storming) , (Issue Mapping)
Selected publications: 
ISBN-10: 0470017686 - ISBN-13: 978-0470017685
"Compendium" A free software tool for building dialogue maps. http://compendium.open.ac.uk/institute/download/download.htm Book: "Dialogue Mapping: Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems", Jeff Conklin, 2006, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, West Sussex, England http://www.cognexus.org/id41.htm