Playbooks are our way to give back to the industry and help people to get shit done.

There are two playbooks to make your life easier: The Inception Playbook which we co-created with the amazing guys at EqualExperts which focuses on how to kick-off projects better and our very own Core Tools Playbook that introduces 18 of the most relevant tools and IT practitioner should know about. Both are available for free download and published under Creative Commons licenses.

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Inception Playbook

Why the Inception Playbook?

If nothing else, take it from me, that I was using the very ideas in the playbook just hours ago for a project with the biggest fashion retailer in the world (and I wouldn’t do it any other way)…

Software delivery is difficult; even with great teams:

The complex interplay of people, processes and technologies will always bring change, uncertainty and unknowns. By acknowledging and addressing these factors early, we can massively reduce the various types of risks we are exposed to.

This is why we and the guys at Equal Experts who we wrote this playbook for and with run Inceptions.  They systematically address the issues that threaten to derail deliveries, helping us to reduce risk, build trust and achieve alignment. An Inception is a set of collaborative activities run with cross-disciplinary teams, to make sure enough information is shared to start delivery with the best possible chance of success. Their job is to do, de-risk delivery, align stakeholders and allow the delivery team to hit the ground running.

Of course, knowing why you might want to run an Inception is not the same as being able to run an effective one! This is where this Inception Playbook comes in.

We believe it’s possible to distil the essence of an Inception into a blueprint. This document is that blueprint.

By taking away some of the complexity and providing ideas to riff off and make your own, this playbook aims to support beginners and experts alike. Over the pages that follow, you’ll find the tools to build better foundations for the initiatives you work on.

Is this for me?

If you have to plan, facilitate or participate in an Inception, or if you simply want inspiration  on how to kick off initiatives better, the playbook is for you.

The playbook caters for  ‘shu’ (I have never done an Inception before) and ‘ha’ practitioners (I am interested in running inceptions better, and tools that allow me to plan more efficiently). 

Why bother?

  • If you have never run an Inception before, this is your ‘training’ manual to peruse
  • If you have run an Inception before, but need a refresher, this is your reference
  • If you have are seasoned Inceptionist, and need practical support, the agenda and schedule blueprints and cheat sheets are your starter for ten.

What does it cover?

  • What is an Inception, Why do one and How to sell one in?
  • How to successfully plan an Inception?
  • How to execute an Inception
  • What does good look like?
  • What are common pitfalls and best practices?
  • Blueprint templates and cheat sheets to make your live easier

Get the Inception Playbook

Free playbook download

Also check out other amazing playbooks from the guys at Equal Experts who made the Inception Playbook possible:

Core Tools Playbook

Knowing what you want to do is one thing, knowing how to go about it, is another matter. Our industry is amazing, in as the fact that the last decade has seen a proliferation of the most valuable tools ‘to get stuff done’.

We are not talking about tool we have made up, but industry standard, best practices, in-line with lean, agile and product thinking.

These tools range from techniques to get ideas or form consensus, to ways of identifying, aligning on and communicating ideas and thoughts pertaining to businesses, products or services we want to build, or organisations we want to change, and ultimately to help delivery and implementation.

This playbook is distillation of 18 Core Tools we believe every IT professional should know how to use.

While the 18 Core Tools cover the breadth of the delivery lifecycle we are well aware that there are many many more valuable tools, so expect this to grow over time…

Is this for me?

If you work on design, delivery or implementation of any IT related initiative you need to know those tools. This Playbook introduces the tools and how they are used. Chance is, you have heard of many of them before, but you might still find inspiration…

This playbook comes in handy if

  • you are looking for the right tool to do something
  • you have not used a specific tool
  • some participants have not used a tool you want to use
  • you are looking for an example or template

What does it cover?

Descriptions of 18 Core tools including

  • why and when to use each tool and how the tool fits into how we work
  • a concise recipe on how to use the tool
  • an example of the tool used in action
  • a template for you as starting point

Get the Core Tools Playbook

Free Download