Cynefin Framework Template
Navigate different types of problems and guide your decision-making.
About the Cynefin Framework template
What does “Cynefin” mean?
“Cynefin” is the Welsh word for “habitat.”
What is the Cynefin Framework?
The Cynefin Framework allows you to think through a situation and understand the appropriate response to it. It outlines five domains, Obvious, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic, and Disorder. The Obvious domain encompasses situations you’ve seen before, and for which you have best practices. The Complicated domain applies to situations in which you don’t know what’s happening, but you possess the skills necessary to analyze the situation and figure out what must be done. In Chaotic situations, the environment is unstable and you must act quickly. The Disorder domain describes any situation in which you are unable to determine the nature of the environment. The framework provides a model for a leader’s behavior in each domain.
How is the Cynefin Framework set up?
There are five domains in the Cynefin Framework: obvious, complicated, complex, chaotic, and disorder. Obvious problems are well understood and their solutions are evident, so they can be solved by applying a well-known, potentially scripted solution. With complicated problems, you generally have a sense of your questions that need to be answered. To solve these types of problems, you can apply expert knowledge and decide what to do next. With complex problems, there’s a lot you don’t know—you aren’t even sure which questions to ask. To solve complex problems, you’ll need to experiment, evaluate, and gather more knowledge. With chaotic problems, your immediate priority is to contain them and then find a long-term solution. Disorder refers to the space in the middle of the framework. If you don’t know where you are in the framework, you’re currently in Disorder, and your priority is to move to one of the other domains.
When would you use the Cynefin Framework?
The Cynefin Framework is a powerful, flexible model of behavior. You can use the template any time you need to categorize a problem or decision and figure out the appropriate response. Many organizations use the framework to aid in product development, marketing plans, and organizational strategy.
The framework is also useful in responding to a crisis or any unforeseen event. Use the template to train new hires on how to react to such an event or to run through worst-case scenarios.
App Development Canvas
Ever noticed that building a successful app requires lots of players and moving parts? If you’re a project manager, you definitely have. Lucky for you, an app development canvas will let you own and optimize the entire process. It features 18 boxes, each one focusing on a key aspect of app development, giving you a big-picture view. That way you can fine-tune processes and get ahead of potential problems along the way—resulting in a smoother path and a better, tighter product.
A status report provides a snapshot of how something is going at a given time. You can provide a status report for a project, a team, or a situation, as long as it emphasizes and maps out a project’s chain of events. If you’re a project manager, you can use this report to keep historical records of project timelines. Ideally, any project stakeholder should be able to look at a status report and answer the question, “Where are we, and how did we get here?” Use this template as a starting point to summarize how something is progressing against a projected plan or outcome.
Someone wise once said that nothing in life is certain. But the waters of the business world? It can seem especially uncertain and unclear. An Assumption Grid can help you navigate those waters and make your decisions confidently. It organizes your business ideas according to the certainty and risk of each — then your team can discuss them and make judgment calls, prioritize, mitigate risk, and overcome uncertainties. That’s why an Assumption Grid is a powerful tool for getting past the decision paralysis that every team occasionally faces.
Originally used as a modeling language in software engineering, UML has become a popular approach to application structures and documenting software. UML stands for Unified Modeling Language, and you can use it to model business processes and workflows. Like flowcharts, UML diagrams can provide your organization with a standardized method of mapping out step-by-step processes. They allow your team to easily view the relationships between systems and tasks. UML diagrams are an effective tool that can help you bring new employees up to speed, create documentation, organize your workplace and team, and streamline your projects.
Start / Stop / Continue Retrospective
Giving and receiving feedback can be challenging and intimidating. It’s hard to look back over a quarter or even a week and parse a set of decisions into “positive” and “negative.” The Start Stop Continue framework was created to make it easier to reflect on your team’s recent experiences. The Start Stop Continue template encourages teams to look at specific actions they should start doing, stop doing, and continue doing. Together, collaborators agree on the most important steps to be more productive and successful.
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.