I’ve been thinking recently about how our team balances the effort we put in to putting together designs for the long term vision for our service, with the work we need to do now to deliver our minimum viable product and the private beta of our service.
We want to be able to look forwards and think about where we want to go so we can communicate this to stakeholders and other services we interact with, to build engagement and to make sure we don’t back ourselves into a corner by focusing only on our immediate delivery. However, we also want to make sure we don’t start fixing problems before we verify they exist, and that we balance the effort we put into this with our delivery work.
It is important to me that we track the work that is happening in the team (see this earlier post). To facilitate the work on longer term vision, I have introduced ‘concept cards’ to our kanban board. These are very high level, looking at things that are further off in the road map, and will go straight to the design team. We have agreed on a work in progress limit of 1 card on the board at any time so that the work on these is balanced with delivery capacity. Ideas from these will inform the questions we ask and the testing we do. They will be concepts, not plans, and will be highly likely to change before they get to the delivery stage, based on greater understanding of user needs from testing.
To share the concepts with the team we are going to trial getting them up on the wall in the open, walking the team though them and then taking comments and questions on the concepts post-its to try to prevent us from discussing the details or implementation to closely, but this is a trial so we will continue to change this method based on how it goes.
I am very interested in how other teams manage this balance, if you have any suggestions or examples please let me know!