Having completed my two-month internship, I thought it would be a good idea to document my learning. In summary, I found the internship experience to be highly satisfactory as it gave me an opportunity to work on real business problems (in solving which I got to apply what I learnt over the past year), to assess the company I worked for, and to judge my role fit.
Over the past two months, a very effective technique I picked up is the concept of a story board.
What is a story board?
A story board tells a story. You can develop a story board to outline the solution or approach for a given problem. You can apply this technique even if you need to just understand the problem on hand or to organize your research findings and analysis. A story board is a straightforward way to explain your ideas to senior management. Given the story board (rather than the final deliverable, such as a presentation), I observed that senior managers can easily pick assumptions or flaws in your reasoning. It also brings clarity in your thinking by avoiding sensory overload.
How to construct a story board?
A story board is simply an adaptation of a flowchart. Again, it simply spells a story. You use the same rectangles, decision boxes, and connectors – but with a lot more freedom. For example, you could define an action inside a rectangle and link to it a comment box with additional information. A story board should be developed in an iterative way, with each iteration bringing more concreteness in logic.
I used to construct my story boards using Microsoft Visio, which comes with an amazing variety of shapes and connectors that can be used to get your idea across. Visio can save your drawings as JPEGs, which you can then email or print.
Let me know if I have educated you or confused you. If it is the latter, I’ll try and come up with an example.