What a week that was!

You’ve just completed the Systems Intensive and you have a huge list of Props waiting for your attention. Now the big question is where should you start? What should you attack first? What’s the highest priority? Which of these tasks will give you the greatest return?

The easiest way to plan your work is to see all the tasks listed in one place. Doing this will make it easy to apply some order to them. The way we recommend that you do that is to put them onto your Systems Planner.

STARTING POINT: You have a list of tasks that need to be completed ASAP. If you’ve recently completed a Systems Intensive with Brain in a Box, these will be listed in your Props Register.

END POINT: All the tasks you need to complete have been listed in the TO DO column on your Systems Planner

The Systems Planner can be downloaded here.

Systems Planner

 

Using the Systems Planner

Here are the steps to set up your Systems Planner:

  1. Download the Systems Planner (from the link above) and save it to a USB drive.
  2. Print the Systems Planner as an A0 or A1 poster (80gsm monochrome will do perfectly). An A1 page is the size of a flipchart pad.
  3. Write each task (from your Props Register) on a sticky note & stick it in the TO DO section. Don’t make too much fuss about where you position them, so long as they’re in the TO DO column.
    Consider colour-coding or highlighting your stickies to show the type of task –
    eg. Video, Checklist, email template, etc.
  4. Now, move the stickies to create groups of tasks*.  Among the ways you can group them are these options:
    • process or system – for instance, group every task related to Prepare a Quote together
    • type of task – for example: videos, checklists, forms, email templates, scripts, etc.
    • team or department responsible for this task
    • person or role responsible for completing the task
  5. Next, we need to arrange them to set the priority. Here we recommend using Urgent for the horizontal axis and Important for the vertical axis in the TO DO column of your Systems Planner.
  6. Now step back and review your completed TO DO column. It should be clear that the highest priority tasks are those in the top right-hand corner. The lowest priority tasks are towards the bottom left.

*Remember that you can overlap the stickies to make better use of the space or to group them.

Why not just create a document?

The biggest advantages of using stickies on a poster rather than writing your tasks in a list on your computer are:

  • Everyone can see exactly the same thing without the need for technology
  • It’s tangible  – anyone can move the stickies around to rearrange them easily
  • It’s so easy to make any changes, such as marking them or stamping them to categorise them in some way
  • Lastly, as you will get to experience over the coming days, it’s great to be able to move your sticky note from the TO DO column to the DOING column. Then to the DONE column.
    There’s a certain sense of achievement in doing this. Believe me, I have an actual video of clients performing a little happy dance after moving a sticky note across from the DOING column to the DONE column. Really.
SCRUM 1
The 8 Steps of the modified SCRUM model
The first two steps are covered in this post.

What’s this based on?

For those who’d like to understand more about the method we’re applying to get through our tasks, it’s based on SCRUM/Agile methodology. We’re applying the methodology very loosely. You’d usually find people using this methodology in the software development or product development fields to help teams get through multiple tasks when time is important. A high level of productivity (best use of time and available resources/effort) is what we are aiming for.  For this reason it’s a logical choice to help us make our systems live in the business as quickly as possible.

In the next blog, number two in this series, we’ll go through how to plan a Sprint.

Here’s the quickest way there.

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