In this episode of Workflow, Brian and Tom talk about idea management for teams.
00:40 What’s happening Brian and Tom (movies, in-home tech ecosystems)
03:11 Workflow automation webinar details
06:50 Idea management intro
08:14 Make sure every idea is captured
22:33 Recruit other people to expand your ideas
24:00 Test ideas and fail quickly
28:08 Tips for taking action!
Tom: 00:00 This is Workflow, episode 17.
Tom: 00:14 Workflow is the podcast that helps teams figure out the best way to work, collaborate and get stuff done. Brought to you by Rindle.
Tom: 00:29 Hey everyone, I’m Tom.
Brian: 00:30 And I’m Brian.
Tom: 00:31 We’re the co-founders of Rindle and this is our podcast Workflow.
Tom: 00:34 Today we’re talking about idea management and how to capture and nourish your teams’ ideas.
Tom: 00:40 What’s happening Brian?
Brian: 00:44 I had some interesting thoughts about, just again, always thinking about my personal workflow and how we work but I was realizing that inherently Google Drive, we create documents all the time and share it with people. I find it interesting because sometimes I should, and want to, put it in Rindle, for example. Where it needs to be referenced all the time with the tasks that we’re doing or whatever project we’re working on. Other times, people just share it and don’t put it in Rindle or don’t mention it in Slack or whatever it is, right? I just find it interesting that, even with our podcast Workflow, I create these, some episode notes and stuff and then outlines and stuff and first thing I did was I shared it with you, right? Then I was like, well if he looks at the board and then looks at this episode it should be there too, obviously. Then I link it to the task. I thought it was just funny.
Brian: 01:38 I think with all the sharing capabilities that every single app has for, use different apps for different reasons, the disconnect is so easy. One time you can be like, “Yeah, I’m just gonna share it to Google Drive and move on.” The problem with Google Drive is that once you share it you, if you miss sending a notification or don’t look at it right away Google Drive can be pretty confusing to find things sometimes.
Tom: 02:00 Impossible. It can be real difficult.
Brian: 02:02 Yeah. Then, you don’t know the title, you don’t remember the title, you have to ask somebody, it’s not coming up in a search you’re doing, whatever it is. That’s why it’s great to have it in a project management tool, like we’re doing. Where we are actually attaching it to the task for the podcast episode so that, obviously, anybody looks at it will see the Google Drive document right there.
Tom: 02:19 Yeah
Brian: 02:21 Same thing with Slack. Sometimes people will post something in Slack and it does relate to some piece of work. We’ve talked about this before but, I just keep on thinking about it because even myself, you inherently, when you’re in a certain app sometimes you just do something like sharing a Google Drive doc and move one. But you didn’t realize, “Well, that’s gonna come back and bite me later, because somebody’s gonna be confused and not be able to find it. I just really need to do my due-diligence and attach it where it needs to be attached for reference.” Especially something that is on-going work.
Tom: 02:50 Yeah, it is, Google Docs/Google Drive in general is just really difficult to find stuff, right? Different pages, the searches show different results, and then Team Drive on top of that is different even more. I don’t know what the answer is but it definitely seems like a real struggle.
Brian: 03:11 Yeah. Another thing we have going on is we’re hosting a Workflow Automation webinar. We’re really excited about that. That’s gonna be on November 6th. I’ll be hosting it, as well as Asia Matos and we’re going to talk all things automation. Which is, you know, one of our favorite topics to talk about. We’re gonna go through some best practices, what it is, and show some demos of how to create these things and how to make them work. The title of the webinar is Workflow Automation: How to Hack Your Process and Get More Done With Robots. You can go ahead and check that out at rindle.com/automation. You can sign up and save your spot. I’ll link that up in the show notes as well.
Tom: 04:03 I’m pretty excited about that. It definitely is an outsider’s take on automation. It’s not an outsider as in not on a team, but someone that didn’t originally design it or develop it so it’s cool to see how someone who isn’t living and breathing the automation tool use it. You’ll definitely get that out of the automation webinar. Should be pretty cool
Brian: 04:30 Should be a good time. What about you?
Tom: 04:34 Sticking on the Google products bandwagon here, Google recently launched that auto complete in Google Mail and it’s pretty awesome. It’s a, just kind of magically started working. It really, it’s unbelievable, you type like 2 words and it knows exactly what you want to say. It’s actually a little scary.
Brian: 04:56 I know it’s good because you’re not easily impressed by features.
Tom: 05:02 No
Brian: 05:02 So if you’re excited about it, it must be working really well for you.
Tom: 05:06 I mean, it puts the auto complete on your phone, like when you’re typing, to shame. That barely auto completes one word, and most times it’s wrong, and this is completing your entire sentence when you type like 2 words.
Brian: 05:24 It is pretty cool. I have used it already. I, as well, was impressed. I’m not so used to tabbing to complete it but I’m getting used to it just because I’m so in tune with just the way I type now so I just keep on typing, inherently. I’m actually reading it, I’m reading the auto complete being like, “Wow, that’s exactly …,” and typing it at the same time, “That’s exactly what I was about to type.” I’m trying to get in the habit of tabbing and actually leveraging it. Not really just still typing it and wasting the time. It’s been pretty spot-on. Pretty cool.
Tom: 06:01 I don’t know how much machine learning is going on there or if it’s actually learning based on what you type a lot, but it seems like that should probably be the case, which is even crazier. This is actually going to be one of the first things that most people really are training their own “robot,” if you will, to do stuff for them, which is pretty awesome.
Brian: 06:29 Before we get started into the main topic, do you have questions, topic ideas or team scenarios you want us to talk about, please leave us a voicemail at 860-577-2293 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom: 06:44 Awesome. Also, please leave us a review. It helps us reach more people and it keeps us motivated.
Brian: 06:50 On to the main topic. The main topic, Idea Management for Teams. This is a popular thing in product management, for sure. That’s the world we live in a lot with building and running a SaaS product. We obviously use it here at Rindle but discussing more at a high level, not focusing so much on product management, we’re gonna give a lot of examples of product management but the idea definitely applies to other types of businesses, other types of teams, and all that stuff. Idea management is how you can not only capture ideas among your team but manage them, nourish them, so they turn into something, right? Either you turn them into something that’s fruitful and useful or maybe it turns into a squashed thing that you’ll never do, that has no future, has no progress, so you get rid of it. Either way, you’re managing and nourishing it instead of just having, “Oh we have great ideas.” Okay well what are you doing with those ideas? The concept of idea management really gets in to that.
Tom: 07:49 This is really talking about workflows in order to manage those, right? It really goes with the theme of our podcast I think.
Brian: 07:59 Absolutely. I think we’re just gonna talk about some points here. Some things you can do to implement idea management, some best practices, so you can kind of start leveraging it among your team.
Tom: 08:14 I think the first thing that you really need to do when you’re talking about idea management is make sure that all the ideas are captured. Which can be harder than it seems because ideas come from a variety of different places. You might get an idea when you’re talking to someone or when you’re in a meeting or could be from a client emailing you. You’re like, “Hey, that’s an awesome idea.” Unless you write it down pretty soon thereafter you’re probably gonna forget.
Brian: 08:45 I can’t count how many times I’ve been in meetings that were, where people have said, “Oh, that’s an awesome idea. We need to do blah, blah blah,” nothing ever comes of it. Six months later you’re kind of complaining, “Well remember we talked about it, nobody ever did anything about it.” All those things. I think you’re right, it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Brian: 09:03 I think ideas almost seem disposable at times where it’s like, “Well yes, I’ll just throw out an idea.” Because they’re disposable nobody’s really storing it anywhere. It’d be great, basically, the first thing to do is really, you need to, among your team especially, create a shared location that your team can access where these ideas will be captured. Everybody among the team basically knows, “Hey, if I get a piece of feedback or idea from a client, if we have an idea in a meeting, it’s gonna go into this place.” Then you can decide, obviously, how that is organized best for your team. Maybe you’re housing ideas for different types of projects. Maybe it’s different products you’re building. Whatever it is, you can organize it however it makes sense. But the fact that you have a place that’s shared that everybody knows where to put it, creates at least and opportunity for it to be captured.
Tom: 09:56 For us, we obviously use Rindle boards for the capturing of the ideas. We have three main boards that we utilize for capturing ideas. We have feedback board, which is ideas mainly from user/customer feedback. We actually have some mechanisms to automatically get that feedback in there. We make use of the board email address in order to forward ideas from customers directly in.
Brian: 10:25 We’re also capturing customer calls, customer development calls, recordings, so we can reference back to them and even when people try our software and they cancel, for whatever reason, we’re capturing cancellation reasons so we can learn if somebody has an idea or recommendation, a feature request, whatever that might be, it kind of all lives on that one feedback board.
Tom: 10:46 Yeah, and we actually do those cancellation reasons through email too. We basically just email the tasks directly to the board which is pretty cool.
Brian: 10:53 And it’s automatically from our app.
Tom: 10:55 Yeah, from the app. We actually have just a simple script that just automatically does that. Then we have a roadmap board which, the roadmap board really is higher level and it’s really the stuff that we’ve decided, “Hey, this is something that’s an awesome idea and we’re probably going to actually work towards getting this into the product.” The timeline of that is up in the air. It might not be for a year, but if it’s something we’ve deemed as, basically, moving on to the next level, we’re going to move it over to roadmap.
Brian: 11:33 I was going to say, some of these, as far as the roadmaps concerned, obviously, some of the feedback items end up on the roadmap because we end up deciding to do them. Some of our own ideas too that we wouldn’t necessarily classify as feedback, cause it’s our product, so they actually go directly on to the roadmap. It’s important to list that there. We’re actually capturing a different set of ideas there that are internal, but that’s the best home for them because we’ve said internally, “Hey, yeah, this is a great idea. It’s not necessarily a piece customer feedback, but we need to have it on our roadmap so we …
Brian: 12:00 It’s not necessarily a piece of customer feedback, but we need to have it on our road map so we, in case we decide to build it. So those, kind of, just get stored there.
Tom: 12:07 And then, the final board that we have is the Ice Box which basically holds ideas that we’re probably never going to get to, or decide never to do, but we still think they’re probably good ideas and who knows, maybe they will inspire us to do something in the future. I mean, as much as people say, “Oh, ideas will come back to you if they’re really good.” Sometimes you just, you’re like, “I had a thought on this and I had mapped it out,” and then you completely forget.
Brian: 12:35 Yeah, Ice Box is the place where we basically put things that we don’t want to forget about, but we’re not going to do. It’s the Ice Box.
Tom: 12:43 It’s where the ideas go to die.
Brian: 12:45 Yeah, they stay on ice.
Brian: 12:48 How you organize these boards, I mentioned earlier, that it really depends on what you’re tracking and the different kind of ideas that you’re tracking. But for us, an example of a feedback board, we have a workflow that consists of the first list is the cancellation reasons. So, cancellation reasons come in from our product and end up on that board through the email address, like Tom mentioned. So we store those there. That’s really not a workflow list, it’s really a repository, so those items will just stay there and we can reference them when we need them.
Brian: 13:17 Same thing with customer interviews, that’s the next list. Any kind of customer interview we do that we record, or even notes that we capture, or we have an interview or a conversation with a customer, we capture that in a test, we want to reference it, this is more of a repository, so, it’s there when we need it. And then we have the rest of the lists are really a mini workflow.
Brian: 13:37 So we have an incoming list where any new piece of feedback that comes in from a customer, comes into that list. Then from there we have a maybe list, so if we’re, it’s almost like a prioritization list. So we can pull things out of Incoming that we’re kind of like, yeah, that makes sense, this is maybe next. So we kind of pull those out, ’cause the incoming list gets pretty big. And then we have an On-Roadmap list, so anything we move onto the Roadmap, we say, “Yep, we’re going to build this.” Then a Done list; anything that gets built and it’s done, it goes to the Done list. So, that’s kind of how we flow our feedback.
Brian: 14:11 And then our Roadmap Board, we have a backlog for the Roadmap items, prioritized top-down. We have an Up Next column, we have one for Longterm and one for Quick, and again, that’s more of a prioritization tool. And then we have In-Development, so things that are currently being worked on, and then Done, things that have been completed. So it’s just an example of how we’re organizing those boards and how we’re leveraging with a combination of repository lists and workflows.
Tom: 14:36 Yeah.
Brian: 14:37 You know, the next layer of organization that we do is we leverage tagging. So we organize our ideas. So for the feedback, for example, we tag ’em by customer. For some of the development items we tag ’em front end and back end work. Sometimes by type of work, so it might be feature and improvement, or wet work for the website. So we used tagging then within the boards to kind of organize the boards, so in the end, we have a pretty manageable set of data. Some of those lists, again, and boards do get big, with lots of information in it. Tagging helps filter them down if you need to. If you need to look for a subset of data and also just give context to what it is and why we have it on there.
Tom: 15:17 Absolutely, yeah. And then we also do make use of mirrors within Rindle, which allows us to move something on to the Roadmap but keep it on the feedback board. When it goes into the On-Roadmap column, we basically create a mirror on to Roadmap. That way we can share the details of it between the two boards.
Brian: 15:42 Yeah, I think this is really one of my dreams of why we built mirrors, but a lot of don’t have the concept of a mirror or even the ability to have a task live in multiple projects or places. But the reason why I like it so much is that you can the workflow and context in place, so we have a piece feedback that comes in, I can continue to track that piece of feedback on the feedback board even though it’s also moving to the Roadmap and eventually into development. Right?
Brian: 16:12 So I don’t have to move it off that board, then I’ll all of a sudden lose I’ll lose the fact that that was originally a piece of feedback from a certain customer, I would then have to search through a bunch of boards potentially to find it, right? You get to keep the context, which is really useful in this example of idea management where you have multiple boards of ideas potentially, and you’re potentially moving things from board to board; it really is interesting.
Brian: 16:35 So now, we can actually track “Well what are all the features we’ve gotten from our customers, that we’ve completed?” And we don’t have to go searching through archives and all those stuff; we can actually keep that in a workflow in our board and we know exactly. It also helps us reach out if we’re actually having an idea from a customer we executed on and we want to communicate that back to them, now we know exactly who it was that requested it, it’s on the board, it was done, and we can reach out to them.
Brian: 17:01 Really helpful in a lot of ways.
Tom: 17:05 We like to revisit ideas, at least once a month. We actually probably do it more often than that, because like I said before, the ideas get stale quickly because the requirements have changed, we’ve gotten feedback, and we’re pivoting to make the product as good as we can, as fast as we can. So the ideas that were really awesome ideas a month ago, might not be great anymore.
Brian: 17:34 Yeah, and I think revisiting it often also gives you the opportunity to adjust prioritization, ’cause things are changing, right? Possibly add a note, or a thought, or maybe after you look at it again, you’re like “Oh, you know what actually, let me add a note to this, I have another sub-idea, or comment,” and even ask questions of it, like “Does this still belong here? Is this we should be doing sooner than later?” Right? And kinda just revisiting it, so it’s a living, breathing thing, it’s not something that just gets stored and never looked at.
Tom: 18:02 Actually, a great example of why it’s important to revisit and also to think about the task stuff is we have a task that’s been living on our Roadmap for a while, which we’ll hopefully get to, but it’s to batch do something to tasks kind of board. Recently, after using Stripe’s batch feature, which I think is pretty awesome, which basically does batch operation on the front end, and I’ve used that a couple times in this past time around when we were looking at all the ideas that I just couldn’t comment on that task to remind me that “Hey, we should do batching, like striped DOS batching, when we finally get around to it.” Right? So I just threw that on there and at least, we’ll be able to remember that when we actually get around to batches.
Brian: 18:51 Yeah, that’s a great example and to that point too, it’s okay to let those ideas float, right? Like you said, that’s been on the board for a while and [crosstalk 00:19:00]-
Tom: 18:59 Yeah, we do have some batch operations, right? That, yeah-
Brian: 19:02 Yeah, right. But it’s been on there for a while, we know we wanna do it, we prioritize otherwise, but it’s something that we let float there and for the reason that you just gave. It’s there to add notes to, it’s there to build concepts and add little details, whatever you need to do. And in the same token, if it ends up being something that, you know what, “This doesn’t make sense anymore,” it’s okay to let it disappear. It’s okay to move it to the Ice Box, like we do or to delete it. I think that’s something to that I think we tend not to capture ideas or put it somewhere ’cause we feel like every idea has to turn into something. “Oh, if I write it, I’m gonna have to worry about it and plan it out and do all this work,” just capture it. It doesn’t need to turn to something actual; maybe it will, maybe it won’t, but it’s just important to have it there.
Brian: 19:47 Then if you do check it, at least every month, and revisit it and prioritize, it will naturally work itself out. Whether you get rid of ’em, whether you keep them, keep prioritizing them, it’ll be, like I said, a living, breathing thing.
Tom: 20:03 So yeah, we also, on top of keeping ideas for the Rindle product, we also keep ideas for our podcast, which you’re listening to right now, and our editorial board within Rindle. The podcast for it actually has a whole bunch of ideas that a lot of them we’ll probably never ever get to and a lot of them don’t even make any sense anymore, but they just kinda sit there and … what do we call that column?
Brian: 20:29 It’s a backlog.
Tom: 20:30 It’s a backlog. We just have it sit there in the backlog.
Brian: 20:31 Yeah, and that’s a good example of a list being used as not only … when we think of backlog, we think of “Well these are all the things we have to do, and we’re just gonna do them in this order,” in this case, it may not be something we do. These are ideas, we’re jotting down topic ideas, we’re moving things up and down, “Well yeah, let’s talk about this next week or whatever.” We also do the same thing, we add notes to it, right? We add links to things, so yeah, it’s a good example of not a full board being an idea board, but maybe a list within a board.
Brian: 21:04 In our example where we have a podcast workflow, but that first list is really used for idea generation and capture, and then again, we prune those all the time. I’m in there every week, for sure, and I’m going through ’em and be like “Ah, we’re never gonna talk about this, delete,” or “Let’s move this to the bottom of the list, ’cause I’m not sure if this fits into what we’re trying to do and all that stuff.”
Tom: 21:24 Actually, we prune, probably more often, because it’s actually a little more natural than even the Roadmap board that we have, because the Roadmap board, if we’re in the middle of a big feature on the product, we kinda have to force ourselves to go in there. But the podcast thing, the projects end so quickly that you can just … you’re constantly going in there to look at the next thing or to add something new or-
Brian: 21:52 I think if it’s linked to a cycle like we have, so the Roadmap is linked to our development cycle, and I think we will look at it probably every month or so. It’s just a longer cycle, where the podcast is a weekly thing that we do, so that cycle, every week we’re gonna look at it. Some idea boards will not be linked to a cycle at all, right?
Brian: 22:08 I know that I used to capture back with my PM team, and it was really not tied to cycle, it was just ideas that we had that we wanted to capture and save, and that’s where checking it every month minimally comes in, because if you don’t have a cycle that ties you and pulls you into that information to kind of … deal with and look at it, minimally having a check every month makes sense, so it doesn’t just dry up and become stale.
Brian: 22:33 Another point is, to recruit other people to expand on your ideas that you capture. A lot of times, even myself being the head of the PM department at the time, I would kinda work on the silo a little bit. I think it’s best that I think we worked that, you and I, Tom, worked that way now, where you pull two brains around something, it’s way better than one, we can brainstorm … we’ll do this on our Roadmap all the time. We’ll pull a feature, and we’ll talk about it real quick and jot down some ideas and thoughts and let it sit again. But something you shouldn’t necessarily do in a silo, it should be done with a team environment. Obviously, you have to be careful not to expand it out too big, ’cause then you’re gonna tons of opinions coming in. Things need to be nurtured along. If something rises at the top, get others involved with fleshing it out, especially if it starts to become a priority for whatever reason.
Brian: 23:25 And I always say this, “No one person has every answer, regardless of what your skillset is, regardless of what your profession, your history, your career path, whatever it might be.” So obviously, more brains is better.
Tom: 23:37 Yeah, and when things start actually bubbling to the top, we’ve gotten customer feedback … specifically asked customers about various features that we were looking to get feedback on before we started developing them. Often these started conversations might lead to other ideas, and they might also make you rethink, “Is this a priority right now?” Or “Did we hear something else that-
Tom: 24:00 … priority right now or did we hear something else that sounds like it might actually, more viable or maybe this is no longer exactly the feature that were gonna build. Alright, so, the final point I think that we want to make is to test the ideas and fail quickly so you wanna validate your ideas as quickly as possible. So the easiest time to do that is obviously when you’re revisiting the ideas. Just quickly go over them and be like, hey is this still somethings that’s a good idea? Is it a priority? Has it changed it’s status or should we break it off and float it out to sea as a piece of ice?
Brian: 24:45 So some examples of that, that we do is, even with the features that we talk about, sometimes we do have conversations with customers often and we’ll run a thought by somebody, or a sketch or a mock-up or something just to get early feedback, early reaction. I’ll also do this even on demos that I do and when I talk to people and show people the product I have in the back of my head, you know what we had a real long conversation about ‘x’ I should see what this potential customer thinks of it. Right? What is their opinion? Do they care? Do they not care? Are they looking for something like that? Whatever, so we’ll use that as a layer of validation as well but doing your kind of, leg work to say, hey, is this a really good idea? If it’s not maybe we should stop talking about it. Maybe we should ice it, maybe we should delete it whatever it might be.
Brian: 25:35 Another example is for editorial, is that, could be validating topics against customer pain points or even SEO keywords, right, so for us we’re obviously writing content that our audience wants to read. Right, and a lot of times that has to do with pain points that our customers and audience have. Or SEO keywords that we’re leveraging, right, so we can validate a topic really quickly, like, hey does this fit into what we’re talking about, our voice, or not? If not, let’s squash it and move onto something that’s more useful.
Brian: 26:05 Either you’re gonna rework it or you’re gonna toss it but you should do it quickly whatever it might be. Even like us, sometimes like a podcast idea, I’ll look at and be like, uh, I don’t wanna delete this but I’m not sure we’re gonna do it so I’ll move it to the bottom of the list and then it gives it time to kind of cycle back up again and maybe by the time it cycles back up again its like, oh, okay I’ve had some different ideas or different thoughts about it now and it does apply or it doesn’t.
Brian: 26:31 So, whatever it is you’re doing to validate, you should do it quickly, so, whether its tossing it out, whether it’s executing it or whether it’s hey you know what I’m gonna put this on the back burner but I know I’m gonna revisit this in two weeks and I’m gonna decide again, should I execute or toss it but don’t get into doing lots of work and lots of things where you’re not validating whether this idea is worthwhile or not.
Tom: 26:57 Sure, and honestly don’t be too worried about, oh if you did delete it or got rid of it, good ideas will come back up again if it really is a good idea, right? So we’ve very often have had an idea that has just faded away and then its popped back up for, in some conversation that we had but someone or …
Brian: 27:18 Yeah that’s why I like the ice box actually, cause I think if you keep a high standard for your ideas like, hey we have a high standard for the quality of ideas that were gonna track. Right? And like you’re saying don’t be afraid to toss it right? So if it doesn’t meet that high standard, maybe you do have an ice box? Maybe something doesn’t quite cut it but you wanna revisit it, maybe six months from now, right?
Tom: 27:39 Sure.
Brian: 27:40 But not every month, or whatever. I love that concept and it could even be a list within in a Rindle board for example. You could even not have an ice box board you could have an ice box list right, that sits on your idea board, that you’re just not gonna revisit and you’re gonna revisit every six months. But I like that concept and I like keeping the high standard because it really keeps you to like, hey I’m not gonna track every idea ’cause I’m gonna end up with thousands and thousands of things to look at every month. I’m gonna track the really good ones.
Tom: 28:05 Sure.
Brian: 28:05 And kind of, filter out quickly.
Tom: 28:08 Awesome. So, let’s opt into some tips for taking action.
Brian: 28:12 Cool, yeah so obviously start collecting ideas for your team. If you’re doing it today, create some kind of central repository to start tacking things. Let it evolve, start with a simple thing, let everybody know in your team that it’s in place, all ideas are welcome. Start kind of collaborating around it and get that rolling cause I think you’ll find that having that in place and giving a place where everybody knows about, will just inherently motivate people to start hopefully writing some ideas down. If nobody really knows what to do with things, either they’re communicating in sporadic ways, which are not gonna be tracked properly, like, oh, send an email or a text or hit em up in slack or mention in a meeting.
Brian: 28:53 So, by doing this you’re standardizing a little bit and saying, hey if you have an idea, great you mentioned to me but throw it on the ideas board. Or throw it on an ideas project or whatever you’re using and hopefully it will motivate some ideas around it, people see other peoples ideas, be able to maybe comment, if you’re using a collaborative software like Rindle, you can comment on it, ask questions, all those kind of things will organically happen.
Tom: 29:14 I think the second thing is revisiting as we’ve mentioned, revisiting the ideas is key, like, block off time on your calendar and revisit those ideas. But I think people might be wondering, well who should be revisiting them? And it’s really the owner of whatever process that those ideas apply towards right? So, if you’re the one that’s doing the podcast, right, you should be revisiting those every week and whoever else is doing the podcast with you. If you’re the product owner you should be revisiting those once a month and looking at those ideas.
Brian: 29:49 Yeah it’s a good point. I think it comes down to the decision maker, possibly. Or, the person in charge of elevating things. So if you’re like a team lead and your job is to bring things to the next level up to say, hey, we need to pay attention to these ideas or we should execute these. So think those people are generally, probably not everybody in your team right? There’s gonna be revisiting’s every week or every month. Right?
Tom: 30:12 Yeah.
Brian: 30:13 If you have those core people who are decision makers or keep people who are moving things along. Collaborate around these. Collaboration obviously breathes life instead of having a stagnant list that just sits there. If you’re in dynamic software, things can be moved around, things can be commented on. All those things, it just brings it to life. It keeps it active, let’s you bring more brains into it really easily. Make sure you do that in a way that, however you decide to do it, make sure that its central, that people can chime in, people can see other people’s ideas. I think it will definitely give it momentum as opposed to letting it just … I think most idea-type concepts, wherever you’re storing them, they die. I would say nine time out of ten they get lost somewhere, maybe it’s a notebook on your desk, maybe it’s, you know, whatever. And then you find it a year later or two years later, like, oh, look at this. So I think if, the more collaborative you make it, the more kind of ownership everybody has over it and the more life it will have.
Tom: 31:12 Yeah. I can tell you right now that the worst place to put ideas are in slack. Because, you’ll never be able to find it again.
Brian: 31:22 Yeah. Exactly. Yeah the search, I mean, even though I tend to be able to find geneal things if I remember exactly what I said but its hard to find things in slack sometimes too.
Tom: 31:30 Yeah. The last thing is, let them float away, or let them say it. Ideas themselves shouldn’t be expensive and you shouldn’t tread on them too much. You shouldn’t be anxious about like, oh man, what should I do about this? Make a quick decision either move it to the bottom list or, you’ll know basically if it becomes a priority. You’ll probably have known about it already. It could often be the reason why you’re going back to that place that you store your ideas because you’re like, hey this just became more of priority or I just got some feedback about something that was on our idea board, so let me go over there and jot that down and maybe move it up because it’s more priority. And then while you’re in there you’re looking at the other ideas and you’re like, ah this is no longer a priority or this is no longer even important at all. So let me put it on ice.
Brian: 32:28 Yeah I think if you get around the idea of letting them float away or letting them sit. It just takes the pressure off and usually when you do that I think more ideas will generally flow. I think the complete opposite of this would be every idea you get you’re gonna start to execute on. Right? Imagine doing that. That would be crazy. You’d be going in 500 different directions, constantly and you’d never be able to complete anything. So obviously prioritization has a huge role in this. Capturing ideas and managing those ideas in a central place is great. Because, now they do have a place to sit. They do have a place to be prioritized and you’re not gonna execute all of them right away.
Brian: 33:08 So just let yourself take the pressure off and say, it’s okay for them to sit there, 30 days, 60 days, however long it needs to sit there, if it’s meaningful and execute when you’re ready and when things prioritize and everything will flow a lot easier and you’ll be able to manage things and have a better experience with them instead of feeling like, this is overhead or something that’s putting a lot of pressure on yourself.
Tom: 33:31 Well I think that about wraps us up for the day. If you have a question for us you can call into our voicemail number at 860-577-2293 or you can email it to us at email@example.com.
Tom: 33:44 Our theme music is in the excerpt from Thunder Rock by Magic Studio used under creative comments. Subscribe to us on iTunes by searching for ‘workflow’ and visit rindle.com/workflow-podcast for a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time.