There has been quite a bit of interesting discussion on Twitter about Roadmaps; what they should include, how they should be structured, how to make them useful for agile teams.
A roadmap shows the direction and the destination. If we think about actual roadmaps, where the metaphorical roadmaps we refer to come from, they show all the possible destinations (towns, cities, etc.) and all the possible routes to get there (roads). Typically, if you wanted to get to a particular destination (achieve an outcome) you would start heading in that direction, but if an obstacle was in your way you’d change route but still be heading in the same overall direction towards the destination. Some routes are faster, some routes are more interesting.
So, a good roadmap (back to our metaphorical roadmaps now) should show the outcome that we want to achieve (destination) and provide some direction of travel as a guide to keep teams moving towards the destination. The direction of travel acts as strategic bumpers to help explain the ‘where to play’ decisions but gives the team enough room to decide on the route for themselves.
Roadmaps that explain the destination and the direction of travel become ‘who & why’ roadmaps rather ‘what & when’ roadmaps. ‘What & when’ roadmaps are misleading and often obscuring because they try to define what the team should build before they’ve started the journey and when they’ll be able to do it. ‘What & when’ roadmaps show uncertainty as a pretend certainty.
So, we should accept that ‘Roadmap’ is an incomplete phrase. We should be clear about it not meaning ‘A roadmap of what to build when’. We should be clear about ‘roadmap’ actually meaning ‘A roadmap of why we’re building and who we’re building it for’. Then roadmaps become about achieving an outcome (getting to the destination) rather than the stops along the way. Then our phrasing can become more specific; ‘A roadmap for achieving x for y’. That could be ‘…achieving product/market fit for our idea’ or ‘…achieving 30% time saving for regular subscribers’.
In preparation for the changes in how ATBA-UK will be managed over the next few years I’ve rewritten the ARTICLES OF ASSOCIATION OF ALL TERRAIN BOARDING ASSOCIATION LTD. These will be agreed at the upcoming Special General Meeting where the new directors will be appointed, and will allow them to manage ATBA-UK as an organisation that licenses it’s brand name, competition formats, instructor training courses, etc. rather than one that operational delivers those things itself. It means that any organisation or individual from the mountainboarding community can apply to the ATBA-UK to hold a competition, for example, and be able to use the ATBA-UK name and resources such as banners, insurance, boarderx competition spreadsheet.
As part of Restart A Heart Day 2018 we built a chatbot to find out how much people know about CPR and whether we can help people feel more confident about giving CPR.
Proportion of users completing each step
Over 1,100 people used the CPR chatbot over two days.
Percentage of unique users who triggered the flow more than once
Some of the phrases that re-triggered the flow were responses such as ‘/like’, ‘thanks’, ‘okay’ and ‘thank you’, and answers to the questions which people typed rather than clicking the buttons. Interestingly, these all started with lower case, so ‘yes’ rather than ‘Yes’.
Percentage of people who finished the flow
77.3% of people finished the flow. That’s much higher than I expected. It shows that people are interested in CPR and are comfortable engaging with a chatbot.
Percentage of people who got the right answers
80.9% of the questions the bot asked about how to perform CPR were answered correctly. This perhaps indicates that the questions were pitched at the right level for the knowledge of the participants as we were trying to help them be more aware of CPR rather than test their current knowledge.
Percentage of people how felt more confident about giving CPR
Of all the people that completed each step and got to the end of the flow to answer the last question, 92.2% said they felt more confident about giving CPR. That’s a good thing to achieve.
It’s more important to be trying to adhere to principles rather than solving a particular problem (as the problem probably isn’t understood well enough, and will change). We agreed on three principles.
Shared: We all work together to give the customer the best experience of the BHF. Customer experience is everyone’s responsibility.
Speed: We want to provide the fastest route to resolution for the customer.
Satisfaction: We want the customer to feel satisfied with the resolution, keep the relationship intact and maintaining the reputation of the BHF.
People drive processes
Any new system/product/business area needs someone to act as guide for others and make decisions and develop best practice. Without that people apply their previous ways of working to the new system, and then they don’t gain any of the benefits, and using a new system in an old way just creates drag on a process we’re trying to streamline.
Emails are either replied-to or not replied-to, they have a binary state that doesn’t reflect the complexities of customer service. Tickets in Freshdesk for Ecommerce Customer Services can exist in any of 224 different states, and some other teams have even more states. This means that each ticket can have a state within Freshdesk that more closely reflects the state of the customer’s enquiry in real life. To use Freshdesk at it’s best we stop thinking about individual tickets, and instead think in states. So, it’s about asking “for the state of ‘Urgent and waiting on third party’, what’s going on in that state and is there anything I can do to make that state smaller and the ‘Resolved’ state larger?”
Calling them ‘agents’ is an interesting turn of phrase. They are agents of the organisation, representing the BHF. But to be agents they have to have a sense of agency, to be able to assume responsibility for their actions, to feel in control, to believe in their capacity to handle a wide range of tasks or situations. Freshdesk provides this. If software is the encoding of human thought, then Freshdesk is software that embodies this sense of agency.