boy in orange and black jacket and white pants standing on field during daytime

The System that Works for Building a Playbook

Calling something so official by a name so unserious can make readers sometimes quite confused about how to approach the subject matter.

While writing on this topic, I realized that in most dictionaries than others, playbooks are in their basest form meant for sports!! The North American dictionary says “a book containing a sports team’s strategies and plays, especially in American football.” Others say ‘a book containing a range of possible set plays’. On and on, I would find that a playbook happens to be in every field, however, starting with the games.

These playbooks summarise that they are usually a sort of documentary ‘how-to’ books. When it comes to the world of business, documentation is important because in business, risk management should be prioritised. No business should lose the way results happen to them, losing it means being careless with information.

Playbooks are about how things are done

In trying to run a company, you would notice that there happen to be ways different departments work, in exemplary terms the marketing team doesn’t work the way branding or administrative teamwork. Due to the procedures required by the different teams, it is only wise to document. The sole purpose is to have a reference point for every team play in the industry. How are things done? How should things be done? What result should you have? How should working well look like? When should you do the things you do? The play answers this.

In my experience of putting together a playbook, I learned that I should strive for simplicity, value chain, and maintaining risks.
And to be honest, you can write a playbook for basically anything in the industry of business; whether for roles, for procedures, or even for specific activities. All you need is to have simplicity at the heart of it. Less they say is more, it doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be direct. It just has to be painkillers and not so much vitamin C. Someone should be able to pick a playbook and understand a tool and how to use it. You understand now?

Playbooks take time to compile

Playbooks aren’t built in a day and therefore process and patience are required. I believe playbooks should be built for meeting a need, and it should be built in a way that anyone can apply it while applying standard/professionalism to it. It should be the reason employees stick with you for a long time except they want to run off to pursue their dreams and your company doesn’t provide that path.

One essential mindset that a playbook should take with it, is the mindset of evolving. Playbooks do not come to stay, they come to be built on. The world keeps evolving; better ways of doing things keeps showing up, it would make no sense to remain in a spot.

Keep these five at your fingertips if you want to build painkiller playbooks.

person writing bucket list on book
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Start with the end in mind

It’s best to start with the end in mind. This should answer the question of what do you hope to achieve with this playbook you are building? Is there an audience you are aiming at? What is the playbook about? Asking these questions gives you a picture of what exactly you are building and helps to define a wide range of options.

What is the Value Chain?

This happens everywhere. Everybody wants to know what they would be getting for putting in something. Once you can answer that, you can find a way to get the resources you need.

Keep It Simple Sunshine

This is quite tricky because you want as many contributions as possible but also need to consider the time factor of the contributors and so, you might want to keep it simple and ultimately factual and straight to the point. When using whichever format you choose to collate, make sure that your language is simple and easier to understand without so much details, just specifics.

Review, Rinse & Repeat

One important lesson I learnt at Wizewerx, is to learn to take a step back and observe what worked and what didn’t to make a better approach. While building your company playbook, your first set of responses serve as an indication of understanding from your feedback. If the answers you got weren’t what you expected then you might want to look at how you asked your questions.

Write things down

This is where preparing your playbook comes in. What format do you want your playbook to take? Constantly make sure you are keeping records of responses and are documenting every step of the way.

Let me know what you think about these steps in the comment session below.

I appreciate my Practice lead, Mike Sutton a lot for his quality knowledge of building things. One biggest lesson I’ve learnt from watching him is that I can do anything I put my mind to. You’ve been amazingly patient and a great guide!! Thank you to my teammates and to Wizewerx for putting this together to help hone our potentials.