This post is a walkthrough on how to create a strategy map for your business.
In my last post, we talked about how you can rethink your approach to your business management strategy. I covered how to fine tune each element of your strategy discussion, refine your company goals, and get buy-in from your team. It has been a minute since we posted that article (a lot has happened since then) so refresh your business strategy knowledge before forging ahead. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to dive in with the next step: how to create a strategy map! Why create a strategy map at all?
A strategy map is a very useful tool for jumpstarting your strategic thinking. While strategy maps do not enjoy the same popularity as the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) tool, I believe they can be even more powerful.
Here’s what creating a strategy map will do for you:
Clarify how you intend to be unique in the market you’ve selected to serve.
Discover if you have the resources to be successful.
Uncover conflicts or inconsistencies in your strategy that can cause it to fail in implementation.
Collaboratively discover and communicate a strategy so that those that need to execute on it are aligned.
How to create a strategy map
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How to combine the best of both kanban and scrum methodologies for max productivity
I have a confession to make. I’m a productivity geek. I love to learn about Lean, Theory of Constraints, Kanban, Agile, Scrum, and all of the hybrids of these out there. But what I love more than any of this is creating and perfecting my own productivity tracking system. I have yet to find the perfect system, but with Cardsmith, I can set up a system that I think will work for me now, and then when it needs a tweak, I can easily change my method. The best thing is that I don’t have to stick with any one method!
Currently, I’m using a bit of a hybrid between a Personal Kanban Board (with backlog, doing, & done columns) and a timeboxing approach of planning a fixed amount of work for my week. I’m planning weekly “sprints” where I have prioritized the next highest items to be done this week.
I call my board a Scrumban board because I’ve integrated ideas from both Scrum and Kanban. I’ve kept what works for me from each of these methodologies and dropped what is not useful. When you are looking at a methodology, any methodology, it is important to consider the reason for each component and make sure you are not implementing a process where
Five remote managers open up about their extensive experience managing remote teams, including how to deal with missed deadlines and how to be a high-quality leader during times of crisis.
Last week, we covered the basics of what all remote work novices need to know as they transition from a traditional office to working from home. This week, we are focused on remote team leadership, and the challenges they specifically face during this transition. Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, it’s not just your average worker that has been thrust into working from home, but their managers and supervisors, too. When you aren’t in the same physical space, it can be easy to panic about how to manage your employees. It won’t surprise you to know that some managers will fall into the trap of micromanaging their team in an effort to feel in control of their output. However, the boundaries for remote working look a lot different than the boundaries for a traditional office. How do you structure regular team check-ins…without getting in the way of things actually getting done? How can you tell if work isn’t getting done, and how should you handle it?
We spoke to five experienced remote team managers and asked them for their insight on how to remotely manage their team.
Remote management tip #1: Create a daily/weekly structure, with regular check-ins
detailing how project managers can use virtual sticky notes to organize their project plan preparation
In case you didn’t already know: Cardsmith was inspired by sticky notes. Our team has long used post it notes as a way to brainstorm, organize information, and more, but we needed to create online sticky notes. No more writing everything down and then having to type it all out, one by one. No more whiteboard or bulletin board, precariously covered with little flapping bits of paper, taking up valuable real estate on the walls of our offices or homes. Now, we can do everything we loved doing with sticky notes, but we do every bit of it virtually. There are so many project management tools out there, and yet, it can be difficult to come by one you actually like! Especially when it comes to one that works for a variety of projects and processes. I have always been a fan of Kanban style boards, but their limitations frustrate me. What if I want to be able to do more? And that’s where the power of combining online sticky notes with project management strategy comes in.
We’ve spoken before about the different ways you can utilize digital sticky notes for project management purposes. What we’re focusing on today, though, is how to use online sticky notes to organize
breakdown of how to create a time budget to balance both personal life/goals and work life/goals
“If you are together in a room, use sticky notes. If some of your team members are remote – use Cardsmith. Cardsmith is the closest experience to ‘sticky notes on a whiteboard’ as you can get.” Kanban has moved beyond the manufacturing shop floor to become a popular visual productivity method for many types of teams in wide range of industries – from software, healthcare, law practices. Likewise, Scrum, which evolved from Lean for Agile software teams, is now used by groups from industrial design to market researchers.
The concepts of Kanban and Scrum go beyond board structure: they are about ways of working and behavior changes in and around the team, like stakeholders and senior management.
Shared Benefits of Kanban and Scrum Methodologies
The benefits of Kanban and Scrum methods are almost identical.
Both Kanban and Scrum promise to:
Deliver value to the customer, faster.
Build trusted teams that hold each other accountable.
Visualize the work so everyone knows what is being worked on at the same time.
Reduce waste, which is defined as work that never gets seen by the customer or that is not valued by the customer.
Improve the quality of the work.
In light of the urgent shift from traditional offices to remote work, the Cardsmith team put together a list of the things they wish they had known when they started working remotely.
By now, you’ve heard of COVID-19 and its increasingly devastating impact on the global community. If your inbox looks anything like mine, it’s filled with all kinds of organizations sending out updated information about sanitation, cancellations, closures, waived fees, many companies moving to remote work, and, in some cases, words of comfort, too. This pandemic is an unprecedented event in our modern society, and naturally, fear and anxiety is high for all of us. You are not alone.
As companies and educational institutions rapidly look to remote work to maintain as much normalcy and societal functioning, remote work veterans are considering how we can best help with this mass transition. While for many, working from home has long been the dream, there is an undeniable learning curve when transitioning from a traditional work environment to a remote work environment. As we’ve watched things unfold over the last week, the topic has been a regular discussion amongst the Cardsmith team.
While there are a lot of resources available on how to work remotely, our team specifically wanted to share the stuff that we’ve learned the hard way.
The ability to work remotely