Artefact Cards Blog

Artefact Cards for Roadmapping

Posted on June 19, 2019 by Helen Willshire

Leo Barnes of Amido has sent us his "how to use" guide to Artefact Cards, which he'd posted internally as part of the company practice of sharing workshop techniques and methods.  

Leo has found Artefact Cards so useful for roadmapping that he ran a demonstration in the office as well as creating and sharing his guide. Thank you to Leo and Amido for sharing this with us, we're sure it'll be really useful for others too.

 

What are 'Artefact Cards’?

In their simplest form, they are a pack of 52 cards. They are the size of standard playing cards with a bright colour on one side and white on the other. There are also larger versions with feint grids printed on the white side.

They can be used in much the same way as you would with Post-it notes, but they are NOT sticky (although you can place them on a 'Magic whiteboard' and the static keeps them there). The cards are designed to enable individuals or groups of people to capture ideas and thoughts.

Why are they 'better' than Post-its?

In reality they aren't better, just different. By having no stick to them, it encourages people to move them around and have a play with their position or priority.

When can I use this method?

Basically they are good for any situation where you need to capture a number of 'things' and put them in some kind of order or grouping.

For example:
• Roadmap workshops
• Sprint planning
• Retrospectives
• Test planning
• User journeys
• Story mapping
• Many more!

Real world example - Client Roadmap

Scenario:

A roadmap session had been held way back at the start of the project when the commercial team were trying to define what the Scope of Work document would look like (and how much it might cost). This is a T&M (Time and Materials) project with the client not 100% sure what they needed from day 1, and as such the roadmap was relatively 'fluid'.

As we got into the details, it was apparent that the roadmap needed revision. At first we did a session with post-its which was okay, but I noticed people were hesitant to move (or even suggest moving) roadmap items to show a different order.

Using the Artefact Cards:

Following that session, I refined the roadmap but also held a secondary 'confirmation' workshop with the stakeholders.

This time I used the cards and noticed some major differences:
• Everyone in the room got involved
• Roadmap items moved A LOT
• More discussions were sparked between stakeholders (and the Amido team)
• Everyone appeared to feel a greater sense of 'ownership' at the end of the session 
 
Output:

The result of the workshop is shown below. Every time we run one of these workshops, I now display this on a large TV in the room and we conduct the card prioritisation exercise on a large(ish) table.

The benefits of this are:
• We know where we landed last time
• The starting point is never lost
• The client can then use this document as a 'point of truth' with future discussions and meetings with other stakeholders

Thanks again Leo. Want to give these ideas a try? Head over to the product page...

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