Five Elements Sketchbook
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Five Elements Sketchbook

: How the change-method works, in-depth

About the Book

Five Elements is the core method that underpins the Tetradian framework for working with change. It's a framework that works the same way everywhere, every context, every type of content, any scope, any scale, any level of complexity, any stage of implementation.

This book can be used by anyone, but is particularly intended for people who aim to take on the role of the Guide or facilitator in work with the Five Elements frame. We explore how and why the Five Elements framework resolves many classic challenges in working with change; how the method works; the components, roles, rules, tools and more that make up the overall method; a range of worked-examples; and how to define and design your own tools to add to the framework.


The Sketchbook series provide a practical introduction to key tools in the Tetradian toolset for change-mapping.

For each tool, we move step-by-step, from core aims, to key principles, to basic practice, and on to advanced applications and use. The overall aim for the series is to make the material immediately usable, in real-world practice, every step of the way.

Each page describes one idea at a time, illustrated by one sketch-graphic. Each page builds on previous ideas and practice, and in turn provides support for the next, step by step.

We've deliberately used 'sketchy' illustrations - the kind of images you'd scrawl on a whiteboard or the back of a napkin. This is to emphasise that the text too is just a sketch, an outline: please feel free to make it your own!

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    • Business Architecture
    • Project Management
    • Startups
    • Enterprise Management
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About the Author

Tom Graves
Tom Graves

Tom Graves has been an independent consultant for more than four decades, in business transformation, enterprise architecture and knowledge management. His clients in Europe, Australasia and the Americas cover a broad range of industries including small-business, banking, utilities, manufacturing, logistics, engineering, media, telecoms, research, defence and government. He has a special interest in whole-enterprise architectures for non-profit, social, government and commercial enterprises.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Section 1: Why Five Elements?
  • What this book is about
  • The usual approach
  • Solutioneering
  • Problem-space, solution-space
  • The problem is the solution
  • Context equals problem plus solution
  • Creating an anchor
  • Structure and maturity
  • Not enough structure
  • Just enough structure
  • Structure and sequence
  • Five Elements
  • The Squiggle of change
  • The cycle of change
  • Five Elements of change
  • Five Elements - the ‘rooms’ metaphor
  • Section 2: The exploration-space
  • Spaces: Overview
  • Spaces: The spaces themselves
  • Spaces: Information-flows
  • Spaces: Implications
  • Spaces: The Atrium
  • Spaces: The Atrium - Flows
  • Spaces: The Atrium - Implications
  • Spaces: The Purpose room
  • Spaces: The Purpose room - Flows
  • Spaces: The Purpose room - Implications
  • Spaces: The People room
  • Spaces: The People room - Flows
  • Spaces: The People room - Implications
  • Spaces: The Preparation room
  • Spaces: The Preparation room - Flows
  • Spaces: The Preparation room - Implications
  • Spaces: The Process room
  • Spaces: The Process room - Flows
  • Spaces: The Process room - Implications
  • Spaces: The Performance room
  • Spaces: The Performance room - Flows
  • Spaces: The Performance room - Implications
  • Section 3: Roles
  • Roles: Overview
  • Roles: The Explorer
  • Roles: The Guide
  • Roles: The Scribe
  • Roles: The Librarian
  • Roles: The Architect
  • The Librarian, the Architect and the knowledge-store
  • Section 4: Rules and moves
  • Rules and moves: Overview
  • Rules: Basic foundations
  • Rules: The Rotation rule
  • Rules: The Repetition rule
  • Rules: The Branching rule
  • Rules: The Nesting rule
  • Rules: The Jitter rule
  • Rules: There are no rules
  • Section 5: Tools
  • Tools: Overview
  • Tools: What and why
  • Tools: Tools and spaces
  • Tools: Tools and roles
  • Tools: Tools and rules
  • Tools: Selecting tools
  • Tools: Data and metadata
  • Tools: Formats and automation
  • Tools: Explore
  • Tools: Decide
  • Tools: Track
  • Tools: Request
  • Tools: Report
  • Tools: Guidance
  • Tools: How to access the tools
  • Section 6: Sessions
  • Sessions: Overview
  • Sessions: How sessions work
  • Sessions: Developing the skills
  • Sessions: Level 0 - Learn the basics
  • Sessions: Level 1 - Any project
  • Sessions: Level 2 - Different project-types
  • Sessions: Level 3 - Link projects together
  • Sessions: Level 4 - Expand scope and scale
  • Sessions: Level 5 - Mega-projects
  • Section 7: How to explore
  • Exploring: Overview
  • Exploring: Working with the unknown
  • Exploring: Find the right question
  • Exploring: Find the right team
  • Exploring: Three guidelines
  • Exploring: Two people-rules
  • Exploring: One key principle
  • Exploring: Tools and toolsheets
  • Exploring: The process of exploring
  • Exploring: How to get it wrong
  • Exploring: The Stuck-in-one-place antipattern
  • Exploring: The Leap-into-action antipattern
  • Exploring: The Jump-to-the-plan antipattern
  • Exploring: The Same-as-the past antipattern
  • Exploring: The Let’s-be-Agile antipattern
  • Exploring: The Lost-down-the-rabbit-hole antipattern
  • Section 8: Making it your own
  • Adapting: Overview
  • Adapt: What to not change
  • Adapt: Change the labels
  • Adapt: Change the shape
  • Adapt: Change the structure
  • Adapt: Change anything
  • Section 9: Five Elements and project-management
  • Projects: Overview
  • Projects: Projects and tasks
  • Projects: The Gantt chart
  • Projects: Explore and exploit
  • Projects: Knowns and unknowns
  • Projects: The boundary of a task
  • Projects: Rethinking Gantt
  • Projects: Tasks - Purpose
  • Projects: Tasks - People
  • Projects: Tasks - Preparation
  • Projects: Tasks - Process
  • Projects: Tasks - Performance
  • Projects: Managing tasks
  • Appendix A: Worked-examples
  • Examples: Overview
  • Appendix B: The tools-inventory
  • Tools-inventory: Overview
  • Tool: QuickAssess-G
  • Tool: SCORE
  • Tool: This
  • Tool: Changes-R
  • Appendix C: Defining tools
  • Defining tools: Overview
  • Defining tools - chapters

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