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Inception Playbook

And so ‘you’ don’t have to make the mistakes we have made, we have written this playbook.


Setting your teams up for success.

Inceptions systematically address the issues that threaten to derail deliveries, helping us to reduce risk, build trust and achieve alignment.

An Inception is a set of agile, lean, collaborative activities run with cross-disciplinary teams, to make sure enough information is shared to start delivery with the best possible chance of success.

Their job is to do, de-risk delivery, align stakeholders and allow the delivery team to hit the ground running.

We were very lucky to be able to collaborate with the excellent folk of Equal Experts in writing this playbook. Not only are we standing on, but also working with, giants 🙂

Do check out their other playbooks, and of course they are an excellent consultancy to work with 🙂

Inception Playbook cover

Inception playbook

Inceptions are our pattern to set projects up for success. They are a series of collaborative sessions to de-risk delivery and build solid foundations. This playbook explains the theory behind inceptions and provides hands-on advice and templates for those who plan, run and participate in them.

Is this for me?

Why bother?

  • If you have never run an Inception before, this is your ‘training’ manual to peruse
  • If you have run an Inception before, but need a refresher, this is your reference
  • If you have are seasoned Inceptionist, and need practical support, the agenda and schedule blueprints and cheat sheets are your starter for ten.

What does it cover?

  • What is an Inception, Why do one and How to sell one in?
  • How to successfully plan an Inception?
  • How to execute an Inception
  • What does good look like?
  • What are common pitfalls and best practices?
  • Blueprint templates and cheat sheets to make your live easier

Inception Introduction

Conference Talk + Presentation Deck

This is where you might want to start, an introduction with case-study examples of what inceptions are, how they unfold, and how to do them…
Watch conference talkDownload Deck
Download presentation with speakernotes.
TheBurnUP Podcast

Burn Up Podcast Episode

In this episode Swahti Poddar and I discuss inceptions.
Lean inception blueprint

Lean Inception Toolkit

A toolkit for the planning, design and facilitation of Lean Inceptions. We use this toolkit as starting point whenever we have to run an inception.
Core Tools Playbook cover

Tools playbook

Over the last decade, the lean / agile community has created a large number of tools and techniques to solve day to day problems. While these tools may be quite specific, e.g. defining vision, goals or business models, modelling context or scope, managing risks or stakeholders, they ultimately all help us manage complexity, share context and collaborate and communicate effectively.
This playbook provides 1-page recipes and templates we find most helpful in day to day use across all disciplines.
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Get in touch

We’d love to hear from you if you want to chat about an opportunity or challenge we might be able to help you with, if you want to work with or for us, or if you fancy chat to exchange thoughts.
Contact us