Home Home Templates Services Newsletter Log In Sign Up

Writing Top Level Stories

Top-level stories in Coarchy frame organizational processes, focusing on patterns of time, key actors, and activities. They streamline activities by time, consolidate actions by actors, and highlight critical efforts, ensuring efficient, compliant, and coherent organizational storytelling.
By Michael Jones
Published Mar 19, 2024

Top Level Stories

As we get more into offering services, we're realizing that having a better way to communicate about how to categorize top level stories is needed. Here's some patterns that we've found to be most helpful.

A top level story is the preferred way to start with Coarchy. Starting with a top level story frames the rest of the stories, and puts them into the perspective of the greater process throughout the organization.

A top level story is a series of zoomed out activities that covers all of the processes of an organization. They go over the processes of providing the organization's products and/or services. They also go over some of the infrequent, but necessary processes like taxes and regulatory compliance. Here is a good example.


A top level process story can be though in three main different patterns: time, important actors, and key activities.


Each activity in a process story happens at a certain time. When the time that an activity happens is close to the same time others, you should consider summarizing them and putting the activities that happen at the same time into a substory. Here's an example:

Here is many different activities that happen at the same time.

When a User signs up, User records their email and password.

When a User signs up, User agrees to the terms and conditions.

When a User signs up, User agrees to the privacy policy.

When a User signs up, User agrees to the privacy policy for california residents.

When a User signs up, User agrees to the copyright policy.

After a User has signed up, System Automatically sends a welcome email.

Instead, we can take the agreement activities and consolidate them into one activity with a substory that goes into more detail because the agreement activities happen at the same time.

When a User signs up, User records their email and password.

When a User signs up, User agrees to the sign up agreements.

After a User has signed up, System Automatically sends a welcome email.

When the time of the activities are far apart, then it's best to not consolidate them, and keep those activities in the top level story.

Service Provider, Client sign the contract for work.

After the contract is signed, Project Team works to complete the project.

Once the project is completed, Accounting Department generates an invoice based on the completed deliverables and project duration.

After the invoice is issued, Client's Accounts Payable Department reviews and processes the invoice for payment within the stipulated 15-day period.

Important Actors

The involvement of different actors in a process story significantly influences how the story is structured. When the same actors are involved in various activities, their actions can often be consolidated into a single, streamlined process story. This consolidation keeps the top level story from having too much detail. However, if different actors are involved, consider treating keeping the activities in the process story to keep the handoffs between each actor. Keeping the handoffs prominent in the top level story will ensure that the wait time between different activities in a process is reduced. Here's an example:

Multiple activities involving the same actor:

Project Manager outlines the project scope.

Project Manager assigns tasks to team members.

Project Manager sets deadlines for milestones.

Instead of detailing every activity separately, we can consolidate them:

During a project kickoff, Project Manager creates a plan for the project.

When activities involve different actors, consider keeping them separate:

Project Manager initiates the project and outlines the scope.

Team Leader coordinates with team members to delegate tasks based on the scope.

Quality Assurance Analyst sets up a schedule for regular project reviews.

Communications Officer establishes the project communication channels.

Key Activities

Consider keeping key activities like ones that require lot of effort or are critical to the success of the process in the top level process story. These activities could include a contractual due date, legal liability, or regulatory compliance should be mentioned. This ensures that the important activities in the process are highlighted and considered. Here's an example:

In these activities the important factors are considered, and should be kept in the top level story.

During contract negotiation, Legal Team reviews and ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

After contract terms are agreed upon, Project Management Team aligns project deliverables with contractual obligations.

Once the contract is signed, Compliance Officer schedules regular audits to ensure ongoing adherence to contractual terms.

These are important parts of the process, but not necessary for everyone to understand as they primarily pertain to a checklist for the legal team and aren't critical to go over each part of the process.

Legal Team establishes a tracking system for contractual obligations.

Legal Team regularly communicates with project stakeholders to monitor compliance.

Legal Team addresses any discrepancies or breaches in contract terms promptly.

Legal Team provides final sign-off on contract fulfillment post-project completion.

No Article Found
Sign up for our Newsletter
Learn about requirements and get product updates