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Playbooks and Design Principles

Playbooks and collections of design principles give us an opportunity to codify and abstract the way in which we work to help others understand, adapt, and replicate on their own.

Martin Wright at mySociety wrote this helpful definition of playbooks:

What is a playbook?

‘Playbook’ is a word that’s used a lot these days, by tech and management people. They’ve borrowed it from the world of sports, where the idea of a book telling you ‘how to play’ is a more straightforwardly obvious concept.

If you find this terminology a bit too hipster, though, you can think of them by the less trendy terms of ‘manuals’ or ‘toolkits’ — though a playbook does have the advantage of sounding like a lot more fun than a workbook.

Whatever the name, what they aim to give you is a collection of repeatable plans and tactics for responding to typical challenges. As such, they can be absolutely invaluable as an internal company tool; and we think they can also help in sharing knowledge between organisations.

In either case, a well-managed playbook would be easily available to employees, widely used and regularly updated.

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