All posts by Arun Kumar

About Arun Kumar

Founder & CEO of Kerika, Inc.

How to set up a good YouTube Video Production Workflow

Click to view this Template

Producing great video content is essential to a successful YouTube channel, but it can be a time-consuming task if you don’t have a proper process and workflow.

A very helpful tool for planning your content workflow is the Kanban board.

Kanban boards, like Kerika’s Task Boards, can help you plan and execute your video production process, ensuring that each step is completed in a timely and efficient manner.

In this article, we will show you how you can use Kerika to set up a great workflow and process for your YouTube video production.

A Workflow for You

This template will set you up with a good workflow. Each phase of this workflow is represented by a column; let’s take a look from left to right:

Click to view this Template


The cards in this column contain helpful resources for you to get started with. The first card, for example, helps you understand how to use video tags; the second card provides a guide for how to write a good video description. And so on.

Content Ideas

This is where you start to gather all your ideas for different videos. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, take a look at the first card in this column.

Create Video Scripts

When you have decided a specific topic you want to work on, move its card from Content Ideas to this column and start writing your script. (And there’s a card in this column with some really useful tips on writing a template for a script.)

Record & Edit videos

Use this column to track the videos you are currently working on: once your script is ready, move the video’s card from the Create Video Script column to this column. This helps you keep track of the videos that are currently in production.

Review Videos

Once everything related to a particular is done, move its card to this column. This will help you track videos that are finished, but you haven’t published them yet.

Schedule / Publish Videos

When you have decided when to publish a video, move its card to this column. This way you and your teammates know which video is when going live. Kerika will remind you if you scheduled a video but forgot to publish it.

Promote Videos

Promoting videos is essential to growing your YouTube channel: once a video is published, move its card to this column and create a checklist of where your videos should be shared and promoted.

Best Practices of Great Teams

If you are working just by yourself, you are ready to go. But if you are working for an agency or the Marketing department of a company, there will be others you need to get involved in this project.

Set up your Team Members

Kerika makes it really easy to organize your team: if there are people who will be actively involved in the video production, e.g. photographers or content writers, add them as Team Members on this board.

They will be able to make changes to this board in real-time, as they get their pieces ready, and everything that they do will be instantly accessible for everyone else that’s on this board’s team.

Set up your Visitors

There are often people who need to be informed, but aren’t necessarily going to contribute in an active way. For example, there may be a product owner who needs to keep track of videos that are relevant to their product, or a senior manager who wants to be kept in the loop.

Add these stakeholders as Visitors to this board team: they will always have a real-time view of what’s going on, but they won’t be able to move any cards or make any changes (in other words, mess up with your careful workflow!) and you won’t have to keep giving status reports. That’s a double-win.

Understand the Workflow

In a Kerika board, every column represents a particular stage in a workflow, and every card represents a specific task (e.g. a video that needs to be produced).

Start at the top-left

  1. Open the first card in the first column
  2. Read the instructions inside
  3. Check out any resources that are attached to the card
  4. Take action.

Some tasks are best handled by you, and others should clearly be handed off to coworkers.

Update the cards as work gets done

  1. A card can be assigned to one or more people, and this can change throughout the course of the project: something is initially assigned to you and then gets handed off to someone else.
  2. As cards get worked upon, update the status of each card: start with READY, then IN PROGRESS, and so on.  This makes it easy for everyone to always have a clear idea of where things stand.
  3. Set due dates. This will help you make sure nothing slips.
  4. Use Kerika’s chat instead of email: this will keep your communications quick and focused.
  5. Move cards along the columns as the work progresses.

Get to Done

The team’s goal is to get all your cards all the way over to Done, on the right-end of the board.

Sometimes things that were initiated need to be discarded: maybe something turns out to be a bad idea? In that case, move the card to the Trash column. (If you change your mind later, you can always retrieve items from the Trash.)

Kerika gives you Resources

The Resources column, the first in this workflow, contains six cards to help you get started:

Kerika provides you with resources
  1. Video Tags: Tags are important as they help YouTube algorithms understand what your video is about. This influences when your video appears in search results.
  2. Video Description Template: one of the most important things you can do is create descriptive, keyword-rich video titles and descriptions. This will help your videos rank higher in search results and give your audience a better idea of what your video is actually about.
  3. Video Thumbnail Template: Your thumbnail is what appears first on your YouTube channel and in the search results, so it needs to be eye-catching and representative of your video content.
  4. How To Edit YouTube Videos Quickly: All successful YouTubers put a lot of time and effort into their editing because that is what helps them stand out from the crowd. This card has useful links, including some of the best video editing tools.
  5. The Easiest Way To Write A Video Script: Writing a video script for YouTube can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. If you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you want to say it, the process can be relatively straightforward.
  6. 10+ Places To Share Your Video For More Views: Sharing your videos on other platforms lets you borrow their audience and show your content to people who might not have found it otherwise. This helps get more views and subscribers on your channel, which leads to more success on YouTube.

Start Generating Content Ideas

The second column is Content Ideas and it contains five cards:

  1. How to Generate Video Ideas: content ideas are the basis for your YouTube videos, and without a clear idea, it is hard to plan, make, and edit videos that are engaging and effective.

    This card will help you generate good video ideas. It gives you useful resources and a list of content ideas that you can use for your videos.
  2. Your Video Ideas: Use this card to keep a list of video content ideas. Remember, no idea is too specific or too vague! Refer to this card when you need a content idea to work on.
  3. Example Video (DUPLICATE THIS): This card will come in handy while writing your video script: it contains a template for writing content that you can duplicate for each of your content ideas and a checklist that divides the script writing process into smaller tasks.

(Example) Video Idea: Latest Smartphone Review is an example of a video idea that discusses the latest smartphones. This video needs a script to educate the viewers about the pros and cons of the latest smartphones launched this year.

(Example) Video idea: How to create a successful advertising campaign is another example of a video with tips on how to create an advertising campaign:

Create Video Scripts

This column contains two cards:

Create Video Scripts
  1. The first card will save you time by giving you a ready-made format for scripts. It offers a clear and consistent structure for you to follow, which can help organize your script ideas and ensure that you tell the story in the most compelling way possible.

    The card also includes guidelines for things like video titles, introduction, body, conclusion, and call to action. It will help you follow industry-standard conventions and make it easy for you to read and follow later on.
  2. The second card will help you write a script that keeps your audience interested and engaged in your content, and this card shares some of the most useful tips to help you with it.

Record & Edit Videos

This column contains two cards:

Record & Edit Videos
  1. The first card helps you understand keyword optimization, which is an important aspect of creating and promoting YouTube videos.This will increase the number of views on your videos, ultimately leading to more engagement.
  2. The second card has useful tips to improve the overall quality of your videos and make them more professional-looking.This will increase the chances that viewers will watch your videos all the way through and even share them with others. Overall, video editing is an important part of creating successful videos on YouTube.

Review Videos

As videos are ready, drag the video card here and assign them to the folks who will be reviewing them, and change the status of the card to NEEDS REVIEW.  If you need feedback by a certain date, set the Due Date on this card so people understand its urgency relative to everything else that’s going on.

Schedule & Publish Videos

When a video is ready to be scheduled for publication, move its card here. This makes it easy for everyone to know what the publishing queue looks like.

Finally, Promote Your Video

When you promote your videos, you are essentially making people aware of its existence and inviting them to visit and subscribe. This can help attract more viewers and subscribers, which can in turn help your channel grow and become more successful.

We have some tips for you in this template.

Tips for Promoting Videos

Like what you just read?

Here’s the template: just one click, one the USE TEMPLATE button, will set you up with a new Kerika account and your first board, in just seconds.

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You can try everything free, with your entire team, for 30 days.



How to manage a Product Launch

A product launch is a critical moment for any company. It is the moment when a new product is introduced to the market and becomes available for purchase. A successful product launch can drive sales, create buzz, and generate excitement for a company and its products.

But before you launch your product, there’s a lot of preparation that needs to happen. Here’s a quick guide to launching your product successfully.

Click to view this Template

Pre-launch preparation. 

As you prepare for your product launch, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, you need to make sure that your product is ready for launch.

This could include collaborating with team members, creating a mock for a press release, finalizing the product name, planning media outreach and pitching, briefing experts and analysts, and more.

Check out the pre-launch preparation of this company.

Pre-launch Prep

Internal preparation documents: 

Before launch day, you have to create an Internal preparation document that outlines everything that needs to be done.

It will help you stay organized and on track on the launch day. This prep document could be about what problems your product solves, building a buyer persona, and creating a growth strategy framework.

Internal Prep Documents

Create internal content. 

This could include creating scripts for product demos, product battle cards, and creating content for talking points. This will ensure that your team is prepared for the lunch and ready to answer any questions that come up about the product.

Create Internal Content

Create external content

This is the content that will be used to promote your product, like product images and videos, content for the knowledge base, blog content, in-app messages, email announcements, landing page, etc.

Create External Content

Pre-launch internal & communication

Make sure everyone on your team knows about the product launch and what their role is. This will help prevent any confusion on launch day. This could include preparing the sales team, customer support team, content training, and PR team.

Pre-Launch Internal Training

Pre-launch logistics. 

This includes things like sending internal calendar invitations, updating staging/test versions, and sharing the launch day schedule. Basically, everything needs to be done to make sure the launch goes smoothly.

Pre-launch Logistics

Launch day execution. 

On launch day, make sure everything is ready to go. Do a final check of all your content, make sure your team is prepared, and then go live!

This includes pushing website updates, making landing pages, product pages and FAQ pages live, sending email announcements, pushing press releases, publishing a knowledge base, etc.

Launch Day Execution

If you want to set up a board like this, we have a free template ready for you.

Security Awareness for Distributed Teams

(Guest post from Cybernews)

According to researchers at Ladders, 25% of professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022. Remote jobs skyrocketed from under 4% in 2019 to 9% in 2020 alone. This means that working from home is here to stay.

With this change in the job market demand, distributed teams have become more common and will continue to be adopted by small and big businesses alike. The need to secure company and employee data is important given the rise of internet scams. It is advisable to have all team members engage in security awareness training to have them prepared against malicious hackers and phishing sites.

Here are measures distributed teams can take to protect themselves and the company from a security breach.

Public Wi-Fi

Avoid using public Wi-Fi, especially from unknown service providers. If you must connect to a public server ensure you have a VPN installed on your computer to prevent hackers from monitoring your internet activity.

Social engineering

Social engineering uses manipulative techniques to gain confidential information that can put an individual or company at risk of cyber-attacks. Hackers have gotten smarter over time creating the need to be cautious mainly when workers use their own devices for office duties. Here are tips to save you from falling victim to such scams.

  • Be suspicious if an unknown person asks you for information, they shouldn’t have access to it. All workers have team leaders they report to or team members that handle specific company data. If someone aside from the usual team member is asking for such data, be alarmed and report it to your team leader.
  • Pay attention to emails. It can be daunting to always have to check an email sender to be sure you’re not under a phishing attack, but it can save you from putting your company at risk. Look out for grammatical errors and the sender’s email address to be sure they aren’t impersonating your company’s or an employee’s email.
  • Beware of heightened urgency. Resist the rush to perform an action if you are feeling pressured to perform a certain action. Creating urgency is a common tool phishing scammers use to make their victims act fast. You should be more suspicious if the person is trying to make you ignore a mandatory security protocol.
  • Always hover over links to see where they lead. Don’t be quick to click links and open attachments sent to you from new contacts. Offerings of things that are too good to be true are not true. An example is an email congratulating you on an iPhone in a competition you never attended.
  • Never download unauthorised software or plug in an unauthorised drive or USB to your device.

Setting passwords

Most websites will tell you to create an 8-character password that contains uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols that should be changed every 90 days. However, cybercriminals now use technology that allows them to crack an 8-character password in 4 hours. That’s why you should be using strong password management.

Instead, use a 12–16-character password with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. You can create a passphrase using multiple small words like “tiNyTombSPoon.” Combining your passphrase with numbers and special characters is advisable for added difficulty. Complex passwords like this should be changed every two years.

Never save passwords to browsers. Never share your passwords with anyone or log in to your work accounts with public computers. Ensure you use a unique password for each account, you can use a password keeper if necessary.

Always use two-factor authentication for all your accounts. Never use the same passwords for your personal and work accounts. Make sure to separate your personal and work life.

Security awareness at home

In a world of distributed teams, it is normal for workers to spend more time at home than in an office. Here are measures that can be taken to stay safe when working from home.

  • Never grant anyone access to your desktop unless you sort the remote connection. Always be careful of remote desktop inquiries. Never give out your login details to anyone over email or phone without consulting your supervisor.
  • Don’t respond to non-company numbers or messages regarding an issue when you didn’t open a ticket.
  • If you will be filling your data into any websites while working, ensure they begin with https://
  • Ensure your Wi-Fi router is secured with a strong password. Always restart your router frequently.
  • Keep your working devices out of the reach of family and guests. Use a different internet network for work and family or guests.
  • Only use company-approved USB sticks. Never use unencrypted USB sticks to connect or charge your work device in public places.
  • Never leave your work device unattended. If you aren’t actively using your device ensure you exit your work screen and lock or close your device.

Security awareness in videoconferencing

All virtual meetings should be cyber-safe and not open to the public. Links to video meetings must not be shared on public sites. Ensure all meetings require passwords to join. Avoid starting a meeting without the host – rather create a meeting room.

Enable host-only sharing, accept one user at a time, and lock the meeting after all the participants are in.

Other security measures

  • Avoid using your personal computer or smart devices for work. Ensure your operating system, antivirus and apps are updated frequently.
  • Beware of phishing links sent to your email. Alert your family members on using your devices without your supervision.
  • Beware of pop-ups on free movie sites and apps asking you to install software from unverified sources.


Although it is impossible to be 100% secure, raising awareness of the cybersecurity risks and taking all security measures stated above is key to preventing a security breach that can lead to catastrophic events. Ensure each team member is properly oriented on security measures to employ and things to look out for to prevent getting hacked.

When Facebook tries to stalk your business

Every couple of weeks I get email from Facebook along these lines:


Yup, Facebook is stalking me.

In its remorseless scanning of everyone’s private information, Facebook has figured out a personal phone number for me, and now it is “helpfully” trying to make that a public piece of information by associating it with my company instead.

And it’s not just phone numbers: Facebook tries repeatedly to associate my home address with my company’s page as well, because, you know, it would suck if any part of the Internet were “inaccurate or out of date.”

I guess I should feel flattered that I am as worthy of stalking as the best B-list celebrity, but there’s also the incompetence common to any creep who thinks he can safely hide in the bushes.

Clicking through on the “Review Page Info” link always lands me on an dead-end page:


Let’s all sing along…

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now,

It’s just a spring clean for the May queen.

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run

There’s still time to change the road you’re on.

And it makes me wonder.

By the way, I learned to program in 1978, so I can tell by now when someone writes crappy code. Facebook does.

Google is going to do to GoDaddy what it did to AltaVista

We have been trying out Google’s new domain management service for the past month, and we are impressed.

(Caveats: this service is in “beta”, whatever that means in Google-speak; it is available only to people in the U.S.; it doesn’t handle every one of the new top-level gLTDs — yet.)

But for all that, Google’s simplicity of UI and the overall user experience is way better than what we have seen from, GoDaddy, NameCheap, and a bunch of others.

In many ways this reminds us of Google in 1999, when it’s very simple search engine was a welcome contrast to the muddled portals offered by companies like HotBot, Lycos, and AltaVista.

Everything extraneous has been stripped out, and the process of transferring and managing domains has been made very clear even for non-technical people.

Folks like GoDaddy have a very short window of time to, literally, clean up their act before Google mows them down.


Off-topic: Should you go to college at 16?

Note: this post is off-topic; it has nothing to do with Kerika, Lean, Agile or even software…

After a couple of years of lurking on Quora, I finally decided to contribute; here’s my (slightly edited) answer to the question What are the benefits of going to college at 16?

In my experience, the benefits of going to college at 16 are outweighed by the disadvantages. I finished high school in India at 16 and had to make the critical decision of what to study next, and where.

Pretty much by accident I ended up studying Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi: Physics had been my favorite subject at school, and I assumed that at college I should simply study more of whatever had been my favorite subject at school, because that’s what it meant to pick a major.

(Although the IITs were already well known, I was actually completely ignorant of their existence, which says something about the unusually cloistered nature of my high school education. I happened to meet the head of the Physics Dept at IIT Delhi who encouraged me to take the entrance exam. I crammed for 3 months for the exam, got admitted, and never even applied elsewhere. Big Mistake #1.)

Looking back, almost every aspect of this decision was ill-considered:

  • College is actually a different chapter in your life, not a more focused continuation of  school. I discovered that just because Physics was my favorite subject at school, I had no real desire to make it my career, nor the talent to be in the first rank of scientists.
  • You cannot pick a school by reputation alone; you need to have a savvy understanding of your own needs and see what the overall college experience can bring you that you need most for your personal development.  After I got admitted to IIT Delhi, I was persuaded by friends that I had already won the lottery of life, and so I never even considered other colleges.
  • At 16, I had just finished eleven (!) years of boarding school life and it turned out that I really didn’t know how to work well with people from more mainstream backgrounds. By going from an “elite” boarding school to an “elite” college, I did myself no favors.

And so after 3 years at IIT Delhi I learned that

  • I really needed to explore a wider range of subjects than the very narrowly focused curriculum at the IITs would support. (It was as essential to read Bertrand Russell as to learn thermodynamics.)
  • I had no real experience or skill in dealing with “ordinary” folks from ordinary, middle-class backgrounds, and was lacking some critical skills in that respect.
  • I really liked computers far more than Physics or any other subject. (An introductory class on FORTRAN IV did the trick.)

I ended up quitting IIT Delhi to study at Washington State University and considered it one of the smartest moves I ever made, but it was a move I made at 19 when I was finally old enough to understand myself.

(And quitting IIT Delhi turned out to be a bizarre experience in itself: they had no expectation that anyone would ever want to leave, since getting in was so hard in the first place, and hence no idea how to deal with my request to exit. I think they finally struck me off the rolls for cutting classes, a couple of years I had already moved to the U.S. By then I had given up trying to explain to them that I really did want to leave.)

If you are 16 and done with school, don’t go to college. Do a bunch of different activities, read, paint, travel, meet people, explore ideas,  and, most importantly, take the time you need to understand yourself better before you go off to college a year.

Presenting at OFM’s Fall Forum last week

Ben Vaught, from the Washington State Office of the CIO, and I had the pleasure of presenting at the state’s Office of Financial Management’s Fall Forum last week, held over two days at the Thurston County Fairgrounds in Olympia.

Ben talked about the use of visual processes as part of the Washington Business One Stop initiative he has been working on for a while, and towards the end of his talk he showed some pictures of the WIKISPEED garage in Lynnwood, where I first met Ben and Michael DeAngelo, Deputy CIO for the state.

My talk was supposed to have been on Visual Management in government and administrative processes, but seeing pictures of the old WIKISPEED garage, which used to be covered with stickies on all walls (including the massive garage doors!) before the team adopted Kerika to knit together their global community of volunteers, was a wonderful throwback moment!

When it came to my turn, in addition to showing the use of Kerika for cross-agency GIS projects, such as those led by Joy Paulus, I was also able to show examples of Kerika in use by Sherri Hrubi, Danica Ersland and Melissa Wideman, who all work together in OFM’s HR Division.

Several other people presented, including Irene Hill and her design team from the Department of Licensing, Howard Cox from the Department of Enterprise Services, and Eric Gardner from OFM’s Forecasting Division.

Microsoft Project for Agile?

On LinkedIn’s Scrum Alliance group someone recently posed this question:

Which is more effective agile software project management tool MS Project or a agile software project management tool for implementing scrum?

Here’s my response:

I started using MS Project around 1989 — must have been close to v1.0, I imagine — and even back then, when it was a relatively simple tool, it never delivered enough utility to warrant the immense hassle of trying to keep it updated so that it actually reflected the reality of a fast-moving project.

The phrase that came to mind often was “I have to feed the beast again“, i.e. I have to spend hours each day trying to map all the real-time changes that were happening in the real-world to the fake world modeled in MS Project.

The MS Project world wasn’t fake because I was incompetent: it was fake because it was always instantly out-of-date.

And as MS Project has gotten larded with more bells and whistles, it has never been able to address its fundamental shortcoming: it is a theoretical model of what you would like your project to be, rather than a practical/actual reflection of what your project is.

So, even back in the 1980s, before people were talking about Agile and Scrum, we were all actually living in an Agile/Scrum world; we just didn’t have that realization, and we didn’t have the appropriate tools to deal with a fast-changing project environment.

At  Kerika, we live and breathe in a distributed Agile world: our team is spread out between Seattle and India, which means we never have any overlapping time, but by using Kerika scrum boards we are in perfect synch with each other.

We know exactly what everyone else is up to, and we are able to process, on average, 10-12 cards per week, per person, on a sustained basis.

Kerika also has a whiteboard capability so we are able to do brainstorming and design work.

Is MS Project useful for anything at all? Yes, if your project…

a) Is considered immutable from the very start.

An example would be a government contract which is negotiated up-front in painful detail, and your success is defined only in terms of whether you delivered exactly what was specified, not whether the final product was useful. (Business-as-usual for most Federal contracts.)

b) Every aspect of the technology has been prototyped, tested, and proven already, so uncertainties are minimized.

This is an interesting use-case of mixing Scrum and Waterfall that’s not explored very often, where you use Agile to do your R&D and figure out workable solutions to your biggest uncertainties, and then use Waterfall to build the final version.

LinkedIn endorsements: revisiting the long tail

Eleven months ago, somewhat bemused by the surprising number and variety of LinkedIn endorsements I was getting, I wrote a blog post graphing the “long tail” of these endorsements:

Arun Kumar's LinkedIn endorsements
LinkedIn endorsements (August 2013)

At that time, I was astonished to find that I had a total of 251 endorsements across 35 categories of skills!

I was fairly certain I had maxed out, and was sure that the entire practice of LinkedIn endorsements would die out altogether since I felt the currency had become already become devalued: LinkedIn was aggressively suggesting endorsements to all users, pretty much every time they logged into the site, and this was creating an inflationary bubble.

So, 11 months later, what does the picture look like?

LinkedIn endorsements (July 2014)
LinkedIn endorsements (July 2014)

What had previously seemed an unrealistic set of numbers (251 endorsements across 35 categories), is now 411 endorsements across 50 categories.

The tail is even longer, as you can see: 10 categories where I have 1 endorsement only in each category, and 15 categories where I have just 2 endorsements each.

Last year, the top 5 categories represented 55% of all my endorsements; this year, the top 5 categories represent 50% of all my endorsements — more proof that the tail is flattening and lengthening.

And in my previous post, I had argued that LinkedIn was hair-splitting: too many categories sounded like they were the same.

This year, the effect seems even more pronounced; here are categories that I would recommend be collapsed together to provide a more coherent picture of a person’s skills:

  • Entrepreneurship, Board of Directors, Board of Directors Experience (really?), Startups together as “Entrepreneurship”, because all of that relates to the startup world.
  • Cloud Computing, Scalability, SaaS together as “Cloud” because all that relates to, well, cloud.
  • Online Marketing, Go-to-market Strategy, Competitive Analysis, SEO, Product Management: all this is part of “Marketing”.
  • Program Management, Project Management, Software Project Management, IT Management, PMO, SDLC together as “Program Management”.
  • Strategy, Strategic Planning, Management Consulting, Consulting together as Strategy.
  • Enterprise Software, Integration, Outsourcing together under something I would prefer to call “Big Company IT”.
  • Management, Executive Management, Team Leadership, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Leadership, Communication Skills all are part of “Leadership”.
  • Business Process, Process Improvement and Business Process Automation could be just “Business Processes”.
  • Analytics and Business Intelligence could be together.
  • Acquisitions and Mergers & Acquisitions should certainly be together!

If I normalized this data, it would look like this:

Normalized LinkedIn Endorsements
Normalized LinkedIn Endorsements

Now my top 5 categories account for 66% of all my endorsements, which would give you a much sense of my skills!

Maybe I should award myself an extra endorsement for “Analytics”?