How to Implement a Story Architecture with Precision Stories

Precision Storytelling

In this episode, we explore the details on how to implement a Story Architecture, answering the Why, What, How and Who questions, with Precision Stories recorded by your assigned storytellers.

In this episode, we’ll describe the ten-step process for implementing a Story Architecture with Precision Stories, which breaks down into the following four phases:

Implementing a Story Architecture - Create

In the first phase we create the story architecture. A story architecture is completed once we have defined all the Why, What and How questions to answer, all the Who customers to highlight, and all storytellers have been assigned.

Implementing a Story Architecture - Project Manage Story Creation

In the second phase, we work with all the storytellers to create recorded answers to their assigned questions, and we manage the process for soliciting feedback from their assigned peers. We then work with the storytellers to take the feedback and re-record their answers. This phase ends when all the recordings are completed.

Implementing a Story Architecture - Build Other Story Elements

The third phase is optional. Here, we build the complementary story elements, converting each recording into other story types, mainly text and quiz.

The textual versions augment the recordings and can be repurposed such as for publishing blogs.

The quiz version is used for turning the story content into a class, which can then be used for employee and partner training.

Implementing a Story Architecture - On-going Story Release Management

In the fourth phase, which is also optional, we make sure the Precision Stories are kept current. This phase consists of two parts:

  • Minor bug fixes – where individual storytellers re-record, should he or she feel the current recording could be improved, and
  • Major new release – where there has been an update to product and so the story architecture design needs to be updated, along with impacted individual Precision Stories

Next we’ll look at the 10-step process utilized within these four phases.

Step 1: Identify the Why Insights

Step 1: We need to identify the why insights that answer the question: “Why should your customers NOT do what they are doing today?”

In order to accomplish this, we do the following:

  1. Identify who within and outside of your organization will be on the “Why Insight” team
  2. Interview via conference call each person on this team to understand their answers to this Why Insight question.
  3. The PrecisionStory team will then aggregate the responses to create an alpha build of the Why Insights.
  4. Next, we ideally will conduct an in-person workshop where we brainstorm, using the alpha build as our starting point. If an in-person workshop is not possible, we will schedule a conference call to conduct this brainstorming
  5. We will then schedule a series of conference calls to discuss until the team feels comfortable with the Why insights.

Step 2: Identify the What Do You Do

In step 2, we focus on creating the What stories that align with each reason given within each Why Insight.

The What stories will have two components:

  1. What are the capabilities of your product or service that align with each reason given within each Why Insight
  2. What are the associated values for each of these capabilities

The process for creating What stories is as follows:

  1. We’ll utilize the Why Insight team
  2. During an in-person Workshop or over a conference call the team will identify each capability and the value mapping
  3. We’ll Revisit the Why Insights to confirm or modify
  4. We’ll continue to Loop between why insights and What Capabilities until the team is satisfied

Step 3: Identify the How Stories

Step 3 focuses on identifying the how stories needed to explain how each What story capability is implemented.

It’s important to note that there are two types of How stories:

  1. How it works, which talks about how your product or service works, and
  2. How it is implemented, which focuses on implementation of your offering

This step is done as follows:

  1. We identify a separate How Story Team, from the Why Insight team. The How Story team will probably include more technical people who talk regularly on how your product or service works
  2. Workshop or Conference call capability mapping
  3. Identify existing demo’s & collateral to re-purpose. For instance, there may be demo’s already recorded we can use.

Step 4: Identity the Who Stories

Step 4 now matches who are the customers to highlight as proof points to the value the customer receives by changing from status quo and adopting your product or service.

  1. We will want to identify a separate Who Story team, who have a good feel for your customer wins, and
  2. Identify the customer wins to highlight

Step 5: Assign the Storytellers

In step 5, we assign all the storytellers for each Precision Story.
As for timing, we’ll actually assign the Why and What storytellers after step 2, and the How storytellers after step 3.

Customer stories are treated differently, as there are three potential storytellers:

  1. The customer, which is the ideal person,
  2. A person on the sales team who can talk to the customer’s story, or
  3. Anonymously tell the story using a 3rd party voice over.

Also, the customer can be either known and notorious or anonymous, depending on the customer’s wishes. If anonymous, we might say something like a mid-sized healthcare provider located in the Midwest United States.

Step 6: Record the Storytellers

In step 6, we manage the process of creating the first version recordings for all the identified Precision Stories. These recordings can be done in a number of ways:

  1. We can simply record the person over a recorded video conference
  2. We can send the storyteller a voice recorder
  3. The storyteller can record his or her answer using the PrecisionStory App

Note, if Precision Story or someone else will be doing a voice over of a customer story, then we will write the script by interviewing the sales team.

Record less than 8 minutes

As a reminder, each recording should be less than 8 minutes in length.

Step 7: Team Reviews

In step 7, we manage team reviews of the different recordings, providing feedback to each of the storytellers. In the Story Architecture phase we will have also identified who will be on the review team for each set of questions.

Step 8: Re-Record the Storytellers

In Step 8, we manage the process of re-recording the storytellers.

Step 9: Publish

In Step 9, we publish the videos, either into your own LMS system or through the PrecisonStory App.

Note: we will publish recordings as they become available, so the overall story will build until the final recordings are completed.

Step 10: Build Other Story Elements

Step 10 is optional. Here we transcribe each recording to create a text version of the story, along with a quiz version.

Story Architecture Version 1.0

When we’re done, we will have released the version 1.0 of your story, answering the Why, What, How and Who questions.

Each recording will provide the core of what we call a Precision Story, which should be less than 8 minutes in length.

Note: when published we’ll consider each recorded Precision Story as an episode in your overall story.

Story Release Management

One of the benefits of taking this modular approach to storytelling is it provides us tremendous agility as we can re-record individual Precision Stories without impacting other stories. We provide this service through our Story Release Management offering, which will be described in the next Precision Storytelling episode.

Vince Vasquez, CEO Precision Story
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