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Lean Startup and Innovation

With all the buzz surrounding Lean startups and the importance of innovation in jump starting your small business, it is becoming more difficult to separate the “true” from the “too good to be true.” The idea behind the lean startup phenomenon is that start-ups have the ability to shorten product life cycles by simply adopting a certain combo of hypothesis driven experimentation. This whole lean start up movement is thought to be the next big thing in innovation, but it is important for your business to separate the hype from the truth. Consider these points for success from author Glen Alleman.

Principles of Success

So what things are parts of the equation for success in the product development business? One factor of success is being able to answer the following questions: Do we know what done looks like? Do we have a plan? Do we know what we need to reach our goals? Alleman adds:

Do we know what resources – people, processes, facilities, tools, or what ever – are needed to reach DONE, when we'll need them, how much they'll cost, and what their effectiveness is in moving our project  toward DONE? These resources also include money. Money is always part of the conversation about reaching DONE. In many instances Schedule is King. But most often cost drives our decisions.

He goes on to ask even more important questions, including how to measure progress and what exactly value means. Value, in this case, is a matter of judging not only what was planned, but what won’t be included because of budget or time constraints (and whether there is still value in that effort or not, based off of those lacking requirements).

What It Means For Project Managers

As project managers, this means that you have to have a plan as they are key to a successful business. You will also have to know what done looks like so that customers will actually buy the product. In addition, you have to what it is going to cost to reach done. An estimate is needed because accountants aren’t just going to let you get away with ‘We’ll know the cost when it’s all done.’

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About Gavin Martin

Information systems architect / technical design authority with over 20 years experience delivering small-scale through enterprise systems to commercial, finance and government customers.

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