Getting started with your Business Backlog
Your Business Backlog is the board where you are going manage everything to do with your business. (We may use expansion boards for this such as projects – but this board is the hub where your essential thinking and planning will happen.)
Why doing this exercise is important
There is a saying that “failing to plan is planning to fail”, and that is massively true in business.
Having a system that allows you to do the right level of essential thinking, and then having that thinking reach all the way to the ground in terms of translating to actual actions, is critical for your success, and that’s exactly what AgileOS has been designed to give you.
(Please note that this board and these instructions are simply a starting point. There is a lot more that we can add here which is going to be of tremendous assistance to you, but we don’t want to blow your gasket on day 1. That’s why we are going to start with the most important things, and then we will start to make other bolt-ons and blueprints available to later on, and then you can then decide what to use, depending on the needs of you and your business.)
Mission & Roles List
- Vision Card: answer the questions to see what is actually important to your business – this is the vision that you will make public in terms of why you do what you do. People resonate better with businesses when they perceive them as having a mission above and beyond money generation – this is one of the things that has helped brands like Apple develop such an ardent fan base.
- Mission Card(s): these are the key blocks of change that you want your business to achieve, based on your stated mission. You might start with one (just as Apple did with the Macintosh, and Amazon did as a bookstore) and then develop more (just as Apple did with phones and music players, and Amazon did with web services), or you might have two straight off the bat – a commercial mission and a contribution mission that the commercial mission pays for.
- Identity Card: this is where you get to have a think about who your business need to be, in order to achieve those missions. How do people need to perceive your business if you want them to engage with you? How does your business need to perceive itself in order to stay on brand and on mission?
- Capabilities Card: this is where we look at what the business needs to be able to do to fulfill its mission and execute its objectives, in comparison to what it is currently able to do. This helps us build a list of the things we need to work on in terms of our development, such as learning new skills, and also where we start to work out what assistance and input we need from other people – for instance outsourcing design tasks. These can also be the seeds of objectives we want to have.
- Objectives card: now that we have created our missions and looked at the focus areas (in terms of what’s important to us within those roles), we can now create our objectives cards. Objectives are about how we move forward towards executing that role well, and they normally involve some sort of measurable progress in terms of what’s achieved in what time frame. (As an example, if our mission is to create a productivity training company, then an objective can be to generate £x revenue by a certain date. The objective cards on the board have a template within them that will help you.)
- There are a number of objectives that come almost a standard with any given company – and on our demo board we have included some of these. You will see mission objectives, which cover things such as business growth, efficiency, average transaction increase and so on. You also have customer journey objectives, where you are looking at how to design a great customer journey and make sure as many people throughout as possible. You also have messaging objectives, so every time you are communicating with the customer you should achieve one or more of those messaging objectives.
- Projects Lists: When we created our objectives, we looked at HOW we were going to achieve that objective, in the transition strategy section. When we did that, you will find that one or more projects probably arose. (Just think of a project as anything where there is more than one step needed for you to complete it). We now need to create projects lists for all the projects we want to do RIGHT NOW.
- (NOTE: You can copy lists by clicking on the three dots at the right hand side of the top the card, and you can create a new list by double-clicking on the screen anywhere that is not on a list card.)
- Projects Card: Once a project list is created, we can then start to put task cards in there. You can prioritise these using emojis (I use the star for a “Must” task that is really important, the thumbs up is for a “Should” task if its something that we should do, and everything else is blank.) Once a card is created, you can assign a due date, delegate it to someone, add notes, files and checklists, and do all of the other things that happen to an action card.
Miscellaneous Tasks List
- Miscellaneous Tasks Card: this is simply a place to park anything that doesn’t really belong to any other project or objective, but which you still want to remember to do.
- Pipeline List: this is is a place to park projects and tasks that you’re not going to do at the moment, but which you want to look at in the future. This is a massively valuable list, especially for people who are unable to currently have an idea without trying to act on it because they worried that they will otherwise forget about it. Make sure you make good use of this list, and use it to manage how much you’re doing at the moment! It’s better to do several things well and consecutively, then try to do several things concurrently and do a poor job on all of them!
Notes & Info List
- Notes & Info List: this is a handy place to park things you want remember – you can obviously break this out into more lists if you want to categorise them!
Logins & Links List
- Logins & Links List: this is a useful place to keep your login credentials. (Trello is pretty secure!)
About & Help List
- About & Help List: this contains a bit about us, and also links to this instruction page, and to the template board in case you delete or overwrite something from your own boards.