Simplify your workflows and optimize your daily routines with our collection of Agile templates.
PI planning stands for “program increment planning.” Part of a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), PI planning helps teams strategize toward a shared vision. In a typical PI planning session, teams get together to review a program backlog, align cross-functionally, and decide on next steps. Many teams carry out a PI planning event every 8 to 12 weeks, but you can customize your planning schedule to fit your needs. Use PI planning to break down features, identify risks, find dependencies, and decide which stories you’re going to develop.
Optimized processes, improved flow, and increased value for your customers — that’s what the Kanban method can help you achieve. Based on a set of lean principles and practices (and created in the 1950s by a Toyota Automotive employee), Kanban helps your team reduce waste, address numerous other issues, and collaborate on fixing them together. You can use our simple Kanban template to both closely monitor the progress of all work and to display work to yourself and cross-functional partners, so that the behind-the-scenes nature of software is revealed.
First coined by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, the value chain analysis helps your team evaluate your business activities so you can find ways to improve your competitive advantage. A value chain is a set of activities that a company performs in order to deliver a valuable product from start to finish. The analysis itself allows your team to visualize all the business activities involved in creating the product—and helps you identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and miscommunication within the process.
Idea Funnel Backlog
An Idea Funnel Backlog enables you to visualize your backlog and restrict the number of backlogged items at the top. In doing sos, you can prioritize items on your list without having to engage in unnecessary meetings or create too much operational overhead. To use the Idea Funnel Backlog, break up the funnel into different phases or treat it like a roadmap. Use the Idea Funnel Backlog as a hybrid model that combines your roadmap and backlog into one easily digestible format.
Change Control Process
You can predict, research, and plan for every detail of a project to go a certain way—then along comes the unforeseen and modifications are needed. That’s when a change control process comes into play. It helps define the right steps to take, gives stakeholders full visibility, and reduces the chances of errors and disruption. And this template is easy to use and highly effective—for ensuring that proposed changes are reviewed before they’re implemented, and empowering teams to veto changes that might prove unnecessary or disruptive.
To-do lists are simple, yet effective tools that can break down large tasks into smaller, concrete steps. They can range from individual daily tasks to broader group goals. You can make a to-do list for any project or deliverable that your team is responsible for. Breaking down tasks into concrete steps helps your team reach your goals with ease. With the To-Do List template, you can customize your to-do list to include photos, images, videos, color-coding, and documents.
A SIPOC diagram maps a process at a high level by identifying the potential gaps between suppliers and input specifications and between customers and output specifications, and thereby defines the scope of process improvement activities. The acronym SIPOC stands for Suppliers (sources), Input, Process, Output, and Customers. SIPOC identifies feedback and feed-forward loops between customers, suppliers, and the processes, and jump-starts the team to think in terms of cause and effect. Use this visual tool to document the working process from beginning to end.
The Sailboat Retrospective is a low-pressure way for teams to reflect on how they handled a project. By defining your risks (the rocks), delaying issues (anchors), helping teams (wind), and the goal (land), you’ll be able to work out what you’re doing well and what you need to improve on for the next sprint. Approaching team dynamics with a sailboat metaphor helps everyone describe where they want to go together by figuring out what slows them down and what helps them reach their future goals.
SAFe Roam Board
A SAFe ROAM Board is a framework for making risks visible. It gives you and your team a shared space to notice and highlight risks, so they don’t get ignored. The ROAM Board helps everyone consider the likelihood and impact of risks, and decide which risks are low priority versus high priority. The underlying principles of SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) are: drive cost-effective solutions, apply systems thinking, assume that things will change, build incrementally, base milestones on evaluating working systems, and visualize and limit works in progress.
Whether you’re producing a podcast, a marketing campaign, a TV show, or a piece of content, establishing a production workflow is crucial. A production workflow creates a visual guide to the different steps in a process. It can be used to train new team members or give a high-level overview to stakeholders. Although production workflows vary by team and business, they generally contain information about who the stakeholders are, how you brainstorm ideas, what your timeline looks like, and what resources you need to succeed.
Mitch Lacey's Estimation Game
A wordy name but a simple tool, Mitch Lacey’s Estimation Game is an effective way to rank your work tasks by size and priority — so you can decide what to tackle first. In the game, notecards represent your work items and feature ROI, business value, or other important metrics. You’ll place each in a quadrant (ranking them by size and priority) to help you order them in your upcoming schedule. The game also empowers developers and product management teams to work together and collaborate effectively.
What makes a great company great? They know that greatness needs to be fostered and maintained — meaning they never stop working to improve. If you’re one of those companies (or aspire to be), a kaizen report is an ideal tool. It creates a simple visual guide to continuous improvement activities on a team, departmental, and organizational level. Using a kaizen report approach, every employee in an organization audits their own processes and understands what they might have overlooked, making this a powerful tool for increasing accountability at all levels.
When you’re building products and shipping goods (oh, and everything in between) there’s nothing more important than staying organized and on-task. Impact mapping is a great way to do it. This trusty product planning technique creates a graphical representation of all your goals and the steps it’ll take to reach each one — so you can clearly communicate with your teammates, align on business objectives, and build better roadmaps. Our template will help you do impact mapping for any type of project planning.
For most organizations, hiring the right new employees is a big deal — a multiple-step, cross-functional, resource-intensive process that takes time and patience. Having a hiring process in place simplifies that process each step of the way, from identifying the job need to recruiting for the position to making/finalizing offers. This simple, effective template will give you a straightforward, high-level view of where employees are as they move from applicant to new hire.
When you’re building a business or running a team, risk comes with the territory. You can’t eliminate it. But you CAN identify it and mitigate it, to up your odds of success. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a powerful tool designed to help you manage risk and potential problems by spotting them within a process, product, or system. And you’ll spot them earlier in your process—to let you sidestep costly changes that arise late in the game or, worse, after they’ve impacted your customers and their experience.
Processes might not seem like the funnest thing to dive into and examine, but wow can it pay off—a more efficient process can lead to serious cost savings and a better product. That’s what DMAIC analysis does. Developed as part of the Six Sigma initiative, DMAIC is a data-driven quality strategy for streamlining processes and resolving issues. The technique is broken into five fundamental steps that are followed in order: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.
Design Sprint Kit
With the right focused and strategic approach, five days is all it takes to address your biggest product challenges. That’s the thinking behind Design Sprint methodology. Created by Tanya Junell of Blue Label Labs, this Design Sprint Kit provides a set of lightweight templates that support the Design Sprint’s collaborative activities and voting—and maintains the energy, team spirit, and momentum that was sparked in the session. Virtual sprint supplies and prepared whiteboards make this kit especially useful for remote Design Sprint Facilitators.
A work plan is essentially a roadmap for a project. It articulates the steps you must take to achieve the desired goal, sets demonstrable objectives, and establishes measurable deliverables. An effective work plan guides you throughout the project lifecycle, allowing you to realize an outcome by collaborating with your team. Although work plans vary, they generally contain four core components: goals, strategy, tactics, and deliverables.
What? So What? Now What?
The What? So What? Now What? Framework empowers you to uncover gaps in your understanding and learn from others’ perspectives. You can use the What? So What? Now What? Template to guide yourself or a group through a reflection exercise. Begin by thinking of a specific event or situation. During each phase, ask guiding questions to help participants reflect on their thoughts and experience. Working with your team, you can then utilize the template to record your ideas and to guide the experience.
Many organizations use the Agile model, but even companies that don’t rigorously adhere to all Agile standards have adopted Agile tools and methods like Program Increment (PI) Planning. Even if you’re not participating in a formal PI session, a program board can be a great way to establish communication across teams and stakeholders, align development objectives with business goals, clarify dependencies, and foster cross-functional collaboration. The board provides much-needed structure to planning sessions, yet is adaptable enough to accommodate brainstorming and alignment meetings.
A RAID log is a project planning tool that focuses on four key areas: risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies. Risks are events that could have an adverse effect if they occur, assumptions are things you assume will happen to contribute to the project’s success (and that will have negative consequences if they don’t occur), issues are risks that have already occurred and had a negative impact on the project, and dependencies are things that must start or finish so your project can progress. RAID logs are often used when beginning a new project, but they’re also useful for promoting alignment and sharing status for projects that are already underway.
Development teams are often juggling many products at once. A product backlog is a project management tool that helps teams keep track of projects in flight as they build and iterate, so you can store everyone's ideas, plan epics, and prioritize tasks. The highest-priority tasks are at the top of the product backlog, so your team knows what to work on first. Product backlogs make it easier for teams to plan and allocate resources, but it also provides a single source of truth for everyone to know what development teams are working on.
What makes a great meeting (other than donuts)? It’s appreciating everyone’s skills, resources, and time by making the very best use of them. That’s what the Lean Coffee approach is designed to do. Great for team brainstorms and retrospectives, Lean Coffee breaks the meeting into three basic stages: what to discuss, what’s being discussed, and what’s been discussed. This template makes it easy for you to collect sticky notes and to update the columns as you go from topic to topic.
Features are what make a product or service fun, but adding new ones is no walk in the park. It takes many steps—ideating, designing, refining, building, testing, launching, and promoting—and just as many stakeholders. Feature Planning lets you put a smooth, sturdy process in place, so you can add a feature successfully, and spend less time and resources doing it. That makes our Feature Planning Template a smart starting point for anyone looking to add new product features, especially members of product, engineering, marketing, and sales teams.
Agile Transformation Roadmap
An Agile transformation roadmap can help you, your team, and your organization transition from rigid compliance-heavy methods to the more flexible Agile way of doing things incrementally. From requirements to integrations to security, you can map out your organization's moving parts as “swim lanes” that you can then update regularly. Use your roadmap as a way to tell the story of how you see your product growing over a period of time. Get buy-in without overselling and keep your roadmap simple, viable and measurable. By using an Agile transformation roadmap, you can avoid getting bogged down in details and instead invest in big-picture strategic thinking.
An Agile product roadmap is an action plan for how a product will become a solution and evolve over time. Agile product roadmaps focus on desired goals, outcomes, and context for daily productivity rather than features and timelines. Multiple teams often share the Agile product roadmap as a visual reference to prioritize tasks and stay aligned with the rest of the team. Product owners, managers, and Agile Scrum masters can use Agile roadmaps to align with their teams, track progress, prioritize their product backlog, and keep both internal and external stakeholders updated about any changes.
Process mapping allows you to assess, document, and strategize around any plan or approach your team has put in place. It’s a useful tool for eliminating or preventing blockers. Organized by stages, a process map enables your team to divide up a process or system and record deliverables and action items at each stage of the process. By breaking down the objectives, activities and deliverables at any stage of a project, you can gain insight into whether you are on track or effectively working through a problem.
A technology roadmap helps teams document the rationale of when, why, how, and what tech-related solutions can help the company move forward. Also known as IT roadmaps, technology roadmaps show teams what technology is available to them, focusing on to-be-scheduled improvements. They allow you to identify gaps or overlap between phased-out tech tools, as well as software or programs soon to be installed. From a practical point of view, the roadmap should also outline what kinds of tools are best to spend money on, and the most effective way to introduce new systems and processes.
Business opportunities can get dense, cumbersome, and complex, and evaluating them can be a real challenge. Let a lean canvas streamline things and break down your business idea for you and your team. A great tool or entrepreneurs and emerging businesses, this one-page business model gives you an easy, high-level view of your idea — so you can stay focused on overall strategy, identify potential threats and opportunities, and brainstorm the various factors at play in determining your potential profitability in an industry.
When you manage a team, you often have to estimate how much time and effort tasks will take to complete. Try what often works for Agile teams all over the world: Turn to the Fibonacci Scale for guidance. Based on the Fibonacci sequence, where each number is the summation of the two previous numbers (0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, etc.), this template can help you build timelines like a champ—by helping make sure that work is distributed evenly and that everyone is accurate when estimating the work and time involved in a project.
The entire team meets to review the day before and discuss the day ahead. These daily meetings, also known as “scrums,” are brief but powerful — they identify roadblocks, give each team member a voice, foster collaboration, keep progress on track, and ultimately keep teams working together effectively. This template makes it so easy for you to plan daily standups for your sprint team. It all starts with picking a date and time, creating an agenda, and sticking with the same format throughout the sprint.
Business Model Canvas
Your business model: Nothing is more fundamental to who you are, what you create and sell, or ultimately whether or not you succeed. Using nine key building blocks (representing nine core business elements), a BMC gives you a highly usable strategic tool to develop and display your business model. What makes this template great for your team? It’s quick and easy to use, it keeps your value proposition front and center, and it creates a space to inspire ideation.