Map making 6: Pause, review, rearrange, continue.
By now your map is really coming together. Take some time to review it. Zoom out a bit and look at the big picture. It is common to need to rearrange the elements, to make space for recent additions, or to arrange elements chronologically. Fortunately the Kumu mapping space is unlimited, so you can expand your map in any direction. You can also adjust the curvature of your connections to make them more readable.
Activity: Revisit each part of your map. Below are some suggestions of other checks and tweaks that you can make at this point.
Time sequence. Does your map ‘read’ from left to right? Are your elements arranged in a logical time sequence order from left to right? In other words, can you start at the left hand side of your map and ‘read’ the story of the project, starting with its activities and how they are leading to change? You don’t have to lay it out this way, but we do strongly recommend it. If there are activities that were introduced part way through the project in response to outcomes that were observed, these can be positioned at the appropriate place in the flow of the map.
Leaps and bounds? Check for granularity now. Are there any big leaps between elements? Any implied or assumed steps? If so, map the intermediate steps now.
Missing activities. Are there any activities that you’ve not mapped? For example, new activities that were introduced during the project (not planned at the outset) in response to emerging needs of the project and its participants.
Missing outputs and outcomes. Also branching. It is easy to forget to map some outputs and outcomes when you are making your map and busily following a particular thread. Look for where your map should ‘branch’. Expect elements to lead to more than one other element. Expect elements to be fed by more than more element. That is typical (and usually intentional) in projects based on permaculture principles. Review your map, element by element to check whether all the elements that should be connected, are connected. Are there any outputs or outcomes that you have forgotten to add? It is easy to miss branches when you are focussed on following one thread to its conclusion. Check each element to see whether there should be additional outputs or outcomes. Now is a good time to look for look for branches that should be there but are missing.
Re-use elements! Check you element labels. Do you need to relabel any of your elements to make them more general? This links to duplication, described below. Try to make elements multi-purpose where appropriate (without losing meaning).
An example of this is where these two elements
- Increased yield of sweet potatoes
- Increased yield of bananas
could be replaced by
- Increased yield
If (and only if) the consequences of the increased yields for both are the same.
Duplication. Look for duplication of elements. For example, the same outcome represented twice in different parts of the map. They may have slightly different labels. Look carefully for instances of this. If you find any, decide which one to keep, move the connections from the other one to element you are keeping, and delete the redundant one. Be careful that you do not remove important distinction.