Inside Figma: how our PM team uses FigJam

At Config 2021, Figma’s virtual design conference, we announced FigJam, our new whiteboarding space. Long before we launched FigJam in beta, teams across Figma had been using it for everything from user research to Maker Week projects. Here, Product Manager Emily Lin shares how she and the PM team at Figma use FigJam, along with templates to get you started.

We built FigJam as a space for designers to ideate and brainstorm with their extended teams. In many ways, it’s a place where ideas begin. But on the product management team at Figma, we’ve used it across the development process—from ideation to retrospective—and to overhaul team rituals and processes. Ever since we built FigJam in FigJam, we’ve spent the past year refining the ways we use FigJam as a team.

Developing a vision

H2 planning is around the corner, so we’ve been relying on a product vision board to build out our short- and long-term priorities. With this template, we can validate our product strategy by visualizing user needs, features, and business goals. FigJam allows us to quickly jot down ideas—without fussing over specific phrasing—while seeing how our plans ladder up to a bigger picture.

How the Figma PM team uses the Product vision board

Brainstorming ideas

FigJam was built as a home to share, riff, and build on each other’s ideas. While you don’t need a template to brainstorm in FigJam, the PM team likes using the Brainstorm Crazy 8’s framework. For this activity, the team gets eight minutes to come up with eight ideas for solving a problem. The goal is to quickly get ideas down in FigJam, without worrying much about the details. At the end of eight minutes, we share out ideas and discuss the ones worth solving after the brainstorming session.

The Crazy 8's framework prompts participants to jot down a quick idea in each of the eight squares

Visualizing a roadmap

While FigJam is great for freeform exploration, we also use it for more structured processes, like building a product roadmap. We even used this Gantt chart in FigJam to build the roadmap for FigJam! One thing I like about this format is that it’s easy to visualize the scope and reach of different projects. This allows us to get a sense for how we should resource and staff different workstreams, and makes it clear when we need to reprioritize. Going into planning for Q3 and the second half of the year, I know this is a template we’ll be using regularly.

The Gantt chart is useful for short- and long-term planning

Running retrospectives

Since retrospectives are such an important part of product development, we stick to a template so everyone knows what to expect. Our product, engineering, and design teams will jump into a FigJam file (like this one) to retro product execution, while the marketing, support, and product education teams will review go-to-market activities. This starts a conversation on what went well and what we can do better next time, and gives teams visibility into each other’s work. Beyond product launches, we also like to retro team processes to make sure they continue to meet our needs as the team grows and evolves.

The retro framework can work for everything from product ships to team processes

Syncing at our weekly team meeting

Every week, the Figma PM team jumps into a FigJam file together to keep each other up to date. Especially as we continue to work remotely, it’s helpful to have a regular touchpoint with each other. In the file, there are prompts to share details on the hard problems we’re facing, anything we’re excited (or nervous!) about, and even updates on life outside of work. Cursor chats, stickers, and emotes are some of our favorite ways to make the meetings more interactive. We have created a template out of our process for other teams to try out.

How the Figma PM team uses FigJam for team stand-ups

Whether you're looking to brainstorm and ideate or plan and execute, we hope these templates offer a helpful starting point to jam with your team.

Available now in beta, FigJam is free for anyone for the rest of 2021. Learn more about FigJam and check out more FigJam templates from the Figma Community.