The team wall – or agile knowledge management

Here’s the situation: A customer asked us to improve the quality of their core system so that they again can act on the demands of their users and customers in a timely manner. We had a team room at our disposal and we again made extensive use of the walls. It turned out that the team wall made the difference!

Using the team wall has high impact on team performance.,

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Keep knowledge alive – living documentation

Keeping knowledge about a product alive is no easy task. Software teams struggle with manually mainting vast documentation in UML tools, text documents, wiki sites and more. We all know about the amount of effort and dedication needed to do this well given the amount of redundancy. There is a promising vision of a living documentation, i.e. a documentaiton automagically created from those things the teams create anyway, like automated and manual tests, backlog items, meeting protocols and more.

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User story shopping – a sports event management system

The challenge awaits our project: How to deal with the many expectations from our customers that are far beyond the project budget? The answer in my current project – the sports event management system – is based on user story mapping. 

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From Stars to Road agile innovation toolbox

Given that stars to road has grown quite a bit it is time to give a quick overview over the toolbox we described so far (or wanted to but did not yet). This list is meant to grow, once we add more tools into the toolbox.


First the essentials of the stars to road framework:

Maturity Levels

Innovations mature from stars to road. While a story matures, our focus changes.

Start page
How mature are you’re ideas

grok – negotiate – build up

Aspects of Maturity

Innovations mature along three aspects: business, technology and commitment. Don’t forget the third!

How mature are you’re ideas

Maturity Rating

Maturity rating sheet

A simple tool to assess the maturity of an innovation from stars to road. You can use a work sheet like this to rate the maturity in a workshop.

Maturity tools for product owners

UCD Cycle

The flywheel of the innovation: Fast cycles with users, customers and other stakeholders. Lean Startup uses the similar build – measure – learn cylce (not described yet).

Meet users

Actionable metrics
not desribed yet
While maturing, get creative and define and collect metrics that really allow you to go, to kill or to cure.

Solution Levels

Creating solutions needs work on three levels: story, concept and details.

Meet users

Powerful Stories

The story decides the fate of an innovation. Make it powerful. To have powerful stories NABC (Ourspeak), Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas are great helpers.

Powerful Stories

Fields of Expertise

Business and strategy, market, subject area, experience, technology and corporate abilities.

A great innovation combines the best from business, market, UX, domain, technology and corporate abilities into one great package.

Know how to shape the future

Lean Procurement

Once identified the challenge, find the partner with whom you want to accept it.

A strategy of how you involve your partners into your work so you do not loose ages to evaluate the best suppliers.

RFPs are dead, lets collaborate!

User Story Mapping

The tools from clouds to retirement to manage product releases.

Grok, Negotiate, Build Up

Landing Zone
not yet described
The goals you set based on your actionable metrics to continue, to kill or to cure.

Innovation Field
not yet described
Gain an overview over the many items in your innovation pipeline.

Some more tools we put in our toolbox

  • Process Maps (User centred business analysis): A rich visualisation of process know how including structure, detailed steps, pains, and opportunities.
  • User Journeys (not described yet): A visualisation of the work, the life and the dreams of the potential users.
  • Story Telling (not described yet): The many ways of creating an experience of the users’ world tomorrow, when an innovation will be on the market.
  • Speed Creation (Increase productivity with a speed creation session): a three days workshop format to nail the vision for an up-coming development.
  • Design thinking (not yet described and we probably won’t): a framework running many UCD cycles to get from stars to clouds.
  • Creativity Techniques (not described yet, and we probably won’t): Ways too milk the brains for more and better ideas in a workshop setting.

Maturity tools for product owners

Pin the maturity cards on the wall. Ask how well do we foresee the change we’re going to inflict with the planned features. “Customers will love it”, the engineer proclaims putting the features on tree level. The sales rep sourly adds: “If they’ll ever grasp it”, moving them up into the clouds.

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Increase productivity with a Speed Creation session

In large and distributed companies the knowledge is spread. Experts come from different locations and subsidiaries. These experts often work in several projects simultaneously. This leads to an efficiency loss and long product development cycles. What if there is a way to get rid of dozens bilateral and specialized division workshops and preparation meetings? The approach is called approach “Speed Creation”.

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