How can I use ProdPad to capture and manage our ideas?

Ideas in ProdPad are a potential way to solve a customer problem that will deliver both business and customer value. They are usually generated by internal team members based on customer feedback or problems identified. Ideas can manifest themselves as experiments to undertake, bets or potential solutions. They encompass both the "what" (description, functional specs, designs) and the "why" (business case, persona, impact/effort).

If you currently use other terms such as "epic" or "feature," refer to our Terminology Mapping to understand how things map back into ProdPad here.

Structure of an idea

All ideas have a title, a description, and a business case that asks two questions -  what problem are you trying to solve and what value would it provide if it were solved.

These are the main focus areas when you first add an idea. This helps you and your team understand the problem, allowing for any additional sections to be added as you figure out a possible solution.

So how can you and your team add an idea?

There are multiple ways of adding ideas in ProdPad, whether you're logged in and viewing your Dashboard or are on the run. The below links will run you through each of them.

Got a bunch of existing ideas you want to pull in? Then you can use our import function to grab them all in one hit, to see how this works head here.

So, what do you do with ideas once they're on your list?

The ideas list is a collection of all ideas in your account, sorted in three tabs:

  • Unsorted are all of those ideas that have yet to be reviewed or actioned. Generally these are categorized as 'New ideas.'
  • Backlog are all of those ideas that you have already looked at and made edits/changes to. We generally recommend creating a stage called "In review" or "In validation" as part of your workflow to indicate the idea has been looked at and is no longer a 'New idea' waiting to be sorted.
  • Archived are all of those ideas that you have decided to remove from your Unsorted or Backlog views. We generally recommend creating statuses to indicate why, such as "Duplicate," "Not doing," or "Failed experiment," for example.

You can move ideas within states by selecting an idea on the list and updating the state in the menu.

You can move ideas within states by selecting an idea on the list and updating the state in the menu.

Alternatively, you can also update the state from the idea itself.

You can also update the state of an idea from the idea itself.

Each tab has three subviews:

  • List This view shows your backlog in a list form. You can very quickly view important meta information such as tags, team votes, impact, and effort.
  • Chart - This view shows you the priority chart to help you visually identify where the quick wins or unloved ideas are. An idea will be displayed as unloved after 30 days of no interaction. 
  • Workflow - This view shows you all ideas in a kanban board view, so you can quickly move ideas through your workflow.

For all views, you can sort through your ideas by applying filters. Applying filters will have an impact on all three subviews, for easy visibility. You can also manage your List Settings to decide the level of visibility on each list tab.

Once you have got your view sorted and filters applied you can take advantage of our triage mode to help you to quickly sort through your backlog, add any information, and move on to the next idea so you can get stuff done.

Triage mode is immediately enabled when you click on any item on a list. You can then go back and forth on that list and triage using the available buttons.

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