Published: July 27, 2021
By: Stephen Kline
Summary: Today we're going to kick off a series that highlights the unique ways that Ninety® uses Ninety to Get Smart Stuff Done™. Part of the beauty of Ninety is that we can bend it to fit our exact needs – needs that may not fit into a traditional system, but allow us to work smarter.
This week's focus on How Ninety Uses Ninety is on a trick we use when working through our Issue List – we call it a WIP, pronounced “whip,” and short for "Work in Progress."
WIP It Good
When discussing issues during our Weekly Meetings, we find that occasionally an Issue needs to be revisited, even if someone takes a To-Do to solve part of it. The Issue isn't really "solved," so we can't check it off, but it's also something that needs to happen on a tighter time frame than a long-term Issue. This situation is when we WIP the Issue – the Issue continues to live on, but we know that it's already been discussed and deserves an update in the coming weeks.
How do we WIP?
WIP's are easy to apply – we simply place the letters "WIP:" at the beginning of the title, renaming it. Dropping this modification into the title is enough to signal where the Issue stands as we work through the Issues list during future Weekly Meetings. Leaving the Issue ranked as a 4 or 5 keeps it top of list and top of mind.
There's no need to overthink it. It's simple to WIP an Issue, keeping it easily identifiable moving forward.
Here’s an example of a WIP in action. Let’s say that we're getting ready to release a new product and we want to create a thread of fresh content to accompany its release. New product releases are a relatively common occurrence here at Ninety, so a 90-day Rock timeline would be too drawn out to be practical, but a week-long To-Do isn't quite enough time to convey the importance of the Issue. It also isn’t enough time to allow the owner to make proper progress and report back.
While this situation sounds like a highly specific set of circumstances, we often find ourselves running into the situation enough to merit a standard operating procedure around it. In fact, at any one time, we might have 2 or 3 WIP's per team being documented and managed in Ninety. It’s just one more way to make getting smart stuff done Almost Easy™.
Hopefully, this series of insights into how we tool Ninety to work for us can inspire others to realize the complete customizability of the platform and how we can bend it to fit our specific needs. Using WIP to better navigate an Issue might not work for how some companies operate, but knowing there are no steadfast rules can be a freeing experience as we work together to GSSD™.
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