Lean Planning for Teams
The benefit of this planning technique is not simply a prioritised list of tasks or the reduction of project risk. The greatest benefit may be that your team starts with a learning mindset.
Ready, Set, Go!
Grab a big sheet of paper or a whiteboard, Post-its and Sharpies.
Draw a vertical line all the way down the left of the page. At the top of the line add an arrow tip and write the word ‘Impact’.
Draw another line along the bottom of the page. Draw an arrow tip on the right end and write the word ‘Uncertainty’.
Divide the page into four by drawing a large dotted plus sign.
You should have something that looks like this…
Next, get your whole team together and start to think about how you could fail. What questions does everyone have about the project? Take your Post-its and write the first question that comes to mind. It might be something like, ‘What will make customers download our app?’ I haven’t got a clue, so I’d put this Post-it at the extreme right end of the ‘uncertainty’ scale. If no one downloads it the impact is pretty extreme so I’d move the Post-it up to the top end of the ‘impact’ line so it’s in the top right corner of your graph.
Continue to put Post-its on the board for every aspect of the project, but focus more on things you’re not sure about rather than the things you know.
Now we have a prioritised plan, start by focussing on the highest impact/uncertainty Post-its in the top right quadrant. The goal is to reduce the uncertainty so we can move the Post-its to the left of the board. Do whatever you need to learn as much as you can about the uncertain factors. Whether that’s a landing page test or diving into the code to decrease feasibility risks.
But you can still read the full version of this article, How to ride a pool pony down the Zambezi .