It turns out that having a blog is easy – but having a good, readable and co-ordinated one is a bit of a hassle. We need to have a good blog but don’t have time much to spend on it, so we invented an agile approach to making it work for us. In the spirit of openness we thought we’d share it with you…
When we were gathering requirements for our new website, we naturally prioritised our blog pretty high on the list. It was the second most important thing after the homepage. We don’t just have the blog there because of some arrogant self-obsession, rather than it’s a good way to reach out to interested parties and promote our business. Furthermore, and lets not beat around the bush, the more people who click on it the higher up the search rankings we go too.
When we were starting out, our blog was just a random dumping ground for thoughts and ideas. It was good, but unstructured. We realised that we needed a better way of getting a message across and may be more than that we thought it’d be good to tell our story – we are only human after all and so it seems appropriate that we are open about what we learn too, so that we are open about our successes and honest about learning from mistakes.
We have lots of ideas for blog posts, so we thought we’d try and structure them in a way where we can bring maximum value to ourselves and still get our story across. One thing we were sure of right from the start was that we’d need to make sure that all of our posts were relevant to the three pillars of our business – Advice, Coaching and Training.
We also needed to make sure we’d have a reader in mind and a business value associated to it – then we realised that some kind of adapted User Story template would be a good idea for this. So this is what we came up with:
And here is what the one I have used to write this post looks like:
Whilst having the stories is nice we needed a place to put them and a prioritised backlog seemed to be the best way forwards, so we put one of those up too:
The column on the left is where we prioritise the upcoming posts. The middle ‘waiting column’ is about waiting for review and waiting to be posted. The posts are always peer reviewed. We also have exit criteria too, to make sure we are staying true to our expectations of quality. More than that though we use the business case on the card (the ‘So that…’) to test we are doing the right thing.
We put one or two posts out a week. It’s not a hassle any more as we can see our exact progress easily and we know what we have done – where we are going and what our story is.
At Agility in Mind, we dont just talk Agile, we use it sucessfully too. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch.