The Home of Structured Visual Thinking Methods

Vithanco helps you to think in a structured manner, with visual support. 

Ever wondered how to think better? 

Don’t rely just on your brain. Keeping everything in your memory makes your head spin. Did you happen to try to keep all the things you need in my memory? People invented a shopping list to decrease mental workload and increase the outcome. Do the same for thinking things through!

What is the equivalent of a shopping list for thinking? Some people write things down, sorting out their thinking along the way. Some people talk about it with others, which is extremely useful, but you sometimes have the right people available.

Vithanco offers simple diagrams to capture and develop your thinking. Did you hear a picture says more than 1000 words? Did you ever experience this for yourself? Vithanco combines writing and using visual grammar to structure how things are connected. The result are simple diagrams that are self-explanatory. 

How to think more clearly – An Example Diagram

 

How does Vithanco help you to think better?
  • Using visuals helps you to keep the (literal) overview. See the whole at once, zoom into parts, and even hide the less relevant details (through “clusters”) if they are a momentary distraction.
  • Auto-layout keeps you focused on the task, which makes you more productive. A one-minute change to the content no longer means 10 minutes of reformatting. The layout follows the structure automatically. 
  • Visual grammars make it easy to follow structured methods by providing guidance. The resulting diagram conforms to the chosen method. However, diverge from a rigid method if you want to.
  • You can use the resulting visuals to help you communicate with all relevant stakeholders. What do they say? “A picture says more than 1000 words.” You can quickly review a diagram with stakeholders. Ask them to read a lengthy document, and they will often not find the time. Did you come to this point?
Some advantages of Visual Thinking

How does Vithanco help you think?

Use Vithanco in order to create diagrams that help you think and concisely present your thinking. Use the predefined diagram types to choose the right diagram type. Vithanco provides out to the box support for:

  • Theory of Constraints Thinking Processes (like Current Reality Trees (CRTs), Evaporating Cloud, etc.) provide a full methodology from identifying the root issue to planning the solution.
  • Concept Maps are useful to capture existing terminology and hence decrease the confusion. They are perfect as a starting point for any project.
  • IBIS diagrams are used to map out dialogues/discussions and to conclude
  • Mind Maps can capture anything and can be used for planning, too.
  • Benefit Breakdown Structure is a business analysis technique that analyses “backwards” from the benefit towards the enablers, including IT enablers and hence keeps the Business Case realistic.
  • Gojko Adzic’s Impact Mapping is a well known approach to generate the next features for your product/project.
  • Causal Loop Diagrams (System Thinking) describe the dynamics of a system. They are a very powerful analysis tool.
  • Decision Trees allow to write down how to reach a decision. Especially useful to design decision points in a process.

And more will come.

What are some relevant features?

Vithanco has amongst other the following features:

  • Ensuring correct structure of diagrams
  • Autolayout – no need to waste your time on moving boxes
  • Change relationships with easy drag and drop
  • Keyboard controls
  • Darkmode supported (requires macOS 10.14 Mojave)
  • Export to PDF, JPG and PNG, clickable Images,
  • Import von CXL files (can be created by CMapTools)
  • Cluster parts of the diagram (allows un-/folding of clusters, hence hiding and restoring parts of the diagram)
  • Design your own node styles in order to adjust the Diagram.
  • Design your own graphical language (“Domain”)
  • Zoom in and out

…and much more.

See below for some inspirations.

Clarify Terminology with Concept Maps

Did you ever experienced that people mean different things by the same term? That people meant the same although they use different terms?

Concept Maps will help you to find these otherwise difficult to find issues. Use it whenever you start working in a new area. And always at the beginning of a project. 

The diagram below is a Concept Map explaining some key concepts around the Vithanco software. Create a sentence for each arrow, eg. “Graph can have Cluster”. You can describe a concept very accurately by describing the relationships to all relevant concepts. The outcome is better than any text based dictionary. 

A Concept Map describing key concepts of Vithanco itself.

Capture Discussions with IBIS

IBIS is a simple structure for capturing any discussion or for the elaboration of questions. IBIS starts with a question, captures the answers/ideas and collects pros and cons for each answer/idea. Any node can be further elaborated with another question, allowing the deep analysis of the topic. 

This structure is regularly used in combination with wicked problems. Use it in joined discussions or to explore all aspects of a question. 

The same Current Reality Tree (CRT), left in normal/bright appearance, right in dark appearance. Dark Appearance is a feature introduced with macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Plan Projects with Benefit Breakdown Structure

Start with the end in mind! Projects are created in order to achieve investment objectives and to realise benefits. Hence, plan backwards from the objectives and the benefits. Which process is creating the benefit? How do you enable the process changes? Vithanco allows you to show the context of the enabler and therefore to answer questions like this: the IT department could cheaply provide feature X as part of the project. Would you like it? Trace the enabler (software) to the benefits. Is the feature needed to create any benefit? If not then don’t implement it.