Crazy Walls For Business™
Everyone knows bigger is better.
Plan your next project on a heroic scale.
Don’t make the project bigger — make the plan bigger.
Why not track your project requirements on a wall with sticky notes and a magic-marker like a crazy person?
It’s time to try Crazy Walls For Business™
How do you get started with crazy walls? (1.) Begin by listing out a few important things.
(2.) Below each of those things, list the first three obvious things that need to be done, in order.
(3.) Now…turn the whole thing sideways. Great! That was good practice. Now you’ve got a blueprint for a crazy wall.
Let’s do the same thing on a wall with sticky notes. Like a crazy person.
Your first crazy wall
- Take that list of important things and scribble each one on a sticky note.
- Place these sticky notes along the top of the biggest wall you can find in an evenly spaced, horizontal line.
- Under each item, add some more sticky notes. Write some things on them. What things? Any things. All things.
- After you have a few sticky notes, use your blue painter’s tape to make a horizontal line.
- Move some sticky notes below the line.
- Add another line.
- Repeat until crazy.
Got a diagram? Print it out and tape to the wall. Got a photo of your nemesis? Print it out and tape to the wall. Put a thumbtack in it. Tie some red yarn to the thumbtack and string it out to other thumbtacks stuck in other notes.
There are no limits. Have a random thought? Put it on a sticky note. Tack it up. Feeling festive? Use green sticky notes to record terrible ideas from that one guy in marketing. Use pink sticky notes for dumb ideas. Use your blue tape to make a big arrow pointing to a random sticky note. It will look important.
How about an example?
Who can use a Crazy Wall For Business™?
Crazy Walls For Business have many great features:
- Untraceable: Sticky note with a requirement? What sticky note?
- Unsearchable: “I know I wrote that down somewhere…” Too bad.
- Inscrutable: “What’s this note with a star and a dollar sign mean?” Yes.
- Unreliable: Too many stickies? Open a window and watch your project scope decrease dramatically with the wind.
- Color coordinate your ideas. Put your boss’ ideas on pink stickies.
- Print things and tape them to the wall for inspiration. All the things.
- Stretch your crazy wall around a corner and join items with yarn. Three dimensions of crazy!
- Kill time with wall planning and maintenance.
- Sneak tech-debt into your requirements with vaguely worded sticky notes.
- Extend your coffee break by standing thoughtfully in front your crazy wall, while sipping coffee.
- Use up office supplies.
- Save money on decorations. Sticky notes are cheaper than art.
- Requires employees to be in the office once in a while.
For detectives solving a complex mystery
- More yarn is better.
- Photocopy pictures of your nemesis for that gritty urban look.
- Polaroids of a crime scene are a great addition to any crazy wall.
“User Story Mapping” is a silly Agile Cargo Cult practice that consultants get paid to “facilitate”. Is story mapping bad? No. Do what works. But, getting a group of folks to write stuff down and stick it a wall doesn’t require reading a book, or a consultant.
Also, this Crazy Wall Tumblr blog is great.