Set Your First Pivot Trigger - video walkthrough

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Set Your First Pivot Trigger walks you step-by-step through figuring out your first Pivot Trigger, so that you can start better conversations and increase your strategic influence.

You'll get:

  • 110 mins of video, where I walk you step-by-step through the process of setting Pivot Triggers, using a realistic example
  • Access to the Miro board I use in the example
  • Written step-by-step instructions for each of the techniques, plus prompts and ideas to help you brainstorm different probes and experiments

After setting hundreds of Pivot Triggers for teams and myself over the past 4 years, this video is where I’m sharing the tips, tricks and secrets I’ve learned along the way. What’s in the video will help you dodge the common pitfalls, untangle the common puzzles and get things going much faster.

Screen capture from the video walkthrough

What's in the video:

00:35 When, where and why you'd want to use Pivot Triggers
04:50 Overview of what's covered in the video
07:35 The powerful principles that underpin the method
17:17 Getting practical: drafting a Multiverse Map is the fastest way to make sense of a project
41:50 The three kinds of signals that matter for your success
48:05 Exploring ways to probe, to increase your speed to signal
55:15 Using Opportunity / Method / Format to select the right probe for your situation
1:01:00 Drafting the probe and setting Pivot Triggers
1:10:40 Editing the Pivot Triggers so they're ready to share and discuss
1:23:08 Making sense of what happens after the probe with Signals > Stories > Options
1:35:49 Summarising everything we did to give you a reminder of the overall process
1:43:30 Preparing you for getting stuck in now

This video is for you if:

  • You’re interested in the idea of doing discovery and delivery at the same time, but you haven’t yet figured out how best to get started
  • You want to waste less time shipping wrong or low quality things, but you can’t simply change your company to operate in the utopian “empowered” model promised by thought leaders
  • You want to share a plan with your boss that fits into how your company operates, that makes you look like you’re a capable professional who’s in control, AND that also enables you to adapt your plan to changing circumstances as you work.
  • You want to prioritise your teams’ work to rapidly reduce risk, creating alignment around what’s important and urgent.
  • You like the idea of an instructional video that walks you through all the steps of the process that works for most teams.

This video is NOT for you if:

  • You only want to work with clean, neat metrics. Pivot Triggers usually sends you off to look at the mess in the real world, and then figure out new metrics that aren’t in your dashboards.
  • You’ve settled on the way you experiment where you are, and need everything to work in that way. For example, some companies only do A/B tests of incremental releases at massive scale. To make use of Pivot Triggers, you need to be more flexible about how you experiment.
  • You’re very early stage and you’re currently researching what your audience might need in the first place. Pivot Triggers will be useful later, once you’ve settled on a particular idea, but it won't help you settle on an idea in the first place. (We have other methods for that – get in touch if you’d like help with early-stage research!)
  • You really only want to build what you want to build and you’re perfectly happy for your audience not to want it, or for your idea not to work out. Let me be clear: there are no hard and fast rules, of course you can build what inspires you and then later see what happens when you try to sell it. If you can ship it in days, just ship it! But if it's going to take multiple months and you need it to work in the market, then it's probably worth considering Pivot Triggers.
  • You really only want to persuade others to commit to your preferred idea. To use Pivot Triggers, you need to be able to let go of your own ideas too. Can you? If not, no worries – just be honest with yourself!

Your questions answered:

Q. What's a Pivot Trigger?

A. Boiled down to its essence, a Pivot Trigger is a written agreement about what we'll need to see in the future for us to want to change our minds about the plan we currently have. The strength of the format is its simplicity and precision. It changes the conversation from "when will X be finished?" to "what do we need to see for our confidence in X to increase or decrease?"

It looks like this: "we'll pivot if we [don't see enough of the agreed behaviour] by [date] when we [do the tiny, rough version of our idea]."

Since I shared the first article about doing discovery and delivery at the same time, hundreds of teams have used Pivot Triggers as a light-weight, low-risk way to start more productive conversations about their work, to quickly fix or kill ideas that aren’t going to succeed, and to make their roadmaps more adaptive to the changing circumstances in the world.

While Pivot Triggers are simple, figuring out what they should be can be much trickier. But through working with hundreds of teams, I've figured out the simplest, fastest way to nail them. And that's what you get in this product.

Q. I’m not a pro with online white boarding tools, will I be able to do this?

A. Absolutely. My approach favours the use of sticky notes because they’re very fast and easy to shuffle around as you figure your situation out. I’ll be showing how to figure out pivot triggers using my preferred tool, Miro. But you can use any online tool you’re familiar with, or you can work with physical sticky notes, index cards or scraps of paper. You could also just sketch or write if that’s how you do your best thinking. I find writing doesn’t work for me, because I can’t see the big picture and the details all at once, and I don’t find it stress-free to delete chunks of writing. I encourage you to find the format that’s fastest for you to edit, play and figure things out.

Q. Isn't this just adding more process and slowing us down?

A. One of the secrets of Pivot Triggers is that it doesn't add any work – it just has you doing the work you were going to do anyway in a different order. You do need about an hour of collaboration with your team to work through the process, but most people find this saves them time overall. During that hour, you'll figure out more of the details with less debate and fewer misunderstandings than you'd have in a normal meeting or in most workshop formats. And you'll come out of the hour with a clearer plan for what you need to do next, and how it fits into your bigger goals.

Q. Will I get in trouble for doing Pivot Triggers?

A. Almost certainly not, but if you’re really worried then probably don’t risk it. I can say that many people who've introduced Pivot Triggers have found that their boss is delighted that they’re thinking strategically, starting pragmatic conversations about business results. When you can demonstrate that you’re considering project risks and working in smart ways, it means your colleagues don’t feel they need to check on you as much.

However, the process necessarily involves questioning ideas, project plans and roadmaps. I'll leave it to you to decide whether that's dangerous in your situation.

Q. Can I put Pivot Triggers into a slide deck?

Absolutely. Following the process will result in a list of 3-6 statements that can be made into bullet points and dropped into a slide, email or document. This is designed to fit in to how your company already works, and I recommend writing the bullet points in your organisation's language and jargon.

Once you've got them, add Pivot Triggers to PowerPoint decks, talk through them in progress updates, share how you're using them to make better decisions in all-hands meetings, ... There are many ways people have shared them to start conversations. (Top tip: you don't even need to explicitly tell anyone that you're using Pivot Triggers.)

Q. What if I get the video and I still get stuck?

A. In the video, you’ll find a link to grab a 25-minute call with me where I’ll answer your specific questions and sort you out. A consulting call like this would normally cost hundreds … can’t say fairer than that!

Q. Actually, I have another question you didn’t answer, what can I do about that?

A. Email me your question at – I’ll answer as soon as I can, and add the information to the page too.

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Instructional video packed with tips and tricks for setting Pivot Triggers

554 MB
111 minutes
1512 x 1072 px
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Set Your First Pivot Trigger - video walkthrough

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I want this!