In this episode, you’ll discover 12 approaches that lead to shorter time to market, increased customer value, and innovation.

After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • Why short feedback cycles are critical
  • How to increase innovation
  • Why metrics matter more than ever
  • Approaches you can use to build the right solution

Show Notes

On the 12th day of the project, we delivered as a team . . .

12 User StoriesUser Stories move us from writing about requirements to talking about them.  Their small size and focus on the customer allows us to minimize outputs and maximize outcomes.

11 Pipelines Deploying.  Through DevOps practices and Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipelines, we can put solutions into production quickly so that customers can receive value and our organization can see the benefits sooner.  This implies that you have automated testing in place and confidence in the quality of your code.

10 Customers Cheering.  By delivering valuable features and functionality to customers sooner, we get happy customers who will use our product and recommend it to others.  The key is to identify what is valuable to customers (see 7, 6, and 5 below) and deliver it quickly.

9 Models Describing.  Through the use of models and other techniques such as story maps, we’re able to communicate clearly and create a shared understanding.  Be sure to involve your team in model development and keep them light weight.  A whiteboard or pen and paper are usually sufficient to create a shared understanding.  It also allows others to easily contribute to the model.

8 Metrics Informing.  How will you measure the impact of what you produce?  You should fine metrics that will allow you to gauge success.  Ideally, those would be leading metrics instead of lagging metrics.  For ideas about leading metrics, check out Dave McClure’s Pirate Metrics.

7 Experiments Running.  We don’t always know what customers really want.  Sometimes our customers don’t know what they want. To discover what customers will find valuable, we need to run experiments.  Form a hypothesis and run simple experiments to either validate or invalidate your hypothesis.

6 Feedback Loops.  Creating fast feedback loops to ensure you’re on the right track is critical.  The longer the time between feedback loops, the more risk there is in spending time and money on the wrong thing.  Feedback loops allow you to get information to pivot (adjust your course) or persevere (continue your current course of action).

5 Prototypes.  Creating prototypes is a great way to experiment and get user feedback.  Start with low fidelity prototypes such as paper prototypes and drawings.  Think in terms of hours or days instead of weeks.  You can then work up to higher fidelity prototypes such as mockups and interactive prototypes as needed.

4 Requirements Changes.  Based on our experiments and feedback loops, we may discover that our direction and requirements change.  One of the principles of the Agile Manifesto is “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.”  Welcome change when it means that we’ll deliver solutions that customers will find valuable.

3 Features Delivered.  In the end, the only thing that matters is working solutions delivered to our customers.  By providing features and capabilities that benefit customers quickly, we help both customers and the organization.

2 Canvases.  There are several canvases that you can use at the beginning of an initiative to create clarity and a shared understanding.  A Lean Canvas is a great way to understand the problems customers face, identify potential solutions, and understand if our solution has a good market fit.

. . . And a product delivered with Agility.


Listen to the full episode to understand how to apply these approaches for greater business agility.



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