Our Approach: 4D’s

What is this about?

Presenting a practical approach to implement lean principles and agile development methods is one of the main goals of ‘Starting a Tech Business’.

 

After using the “Four D’s” diagram (below 2nd ) in two posts (after “Tinkering ..” and “MVP“), I have some questions about this. Most of them were from “business side” – people on project managers, product managers, managers and entrepreneurs. Generally, they were looking for ways to implement new popular ‘lean’ principles more effectively for overall continuous improvement of their company. In many cases, their engineering organizations were already practicing tight, but for the rest of the organization the interface was small and there were not many throughput in it.

 

The reader summarizes the picture given below by what I have heard and understood:

There is a big zero between the desire to implement lean principles and what is going on in many development engineering programs. Engineering mistake? No – at least not more than anyone else. Most engineering organizations I know (including themselves) are under greater pressure to increase the output. If incoming inputs are not well prepared and integrated into a tensile process, It would be slow and difficult to include those inputs.

The “The Four D” described in the diagram, is an attempt to provide an integrated perspective on the relationship between the lean principals and the tight development. This is definitely not the only way to see lean principles or tightening. What should this do for you is to provide a lightweight framework to think about focal points and infections in an organization that is effectively practicing continuous improvement. The remainder of this post describes “Four D” and how to implement them.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The basic idea with MVP is that you have placed the full minimum set of features required to launch 

your product in its early market. Why is this so important? The underlying assumption is that in the uncertainty environment, Whatever you have with any new product, you can not already understand the whole product / market fit. So, the idea is, make it vs versus your target users quickly. Start your user-friendly learning ASAP later.

Since this post is about continuous improvement, I believe that you are already in your customer development anywhere after MVP delivery. This is the reason that MVP appears as an input in the Discover Circle in the previous picture. He said, here are some quick notes so that you are doing things with your MVP, to help you figure out whether you are in your customer development.

Tell the four signs of the signs that you have a healthy MVP manufacturing process: 

  1. Your key startup concepts are clear

One of the key elements to implementing lean principals for a startup (popular in the book ‘The Lean Startup’ named ‘Eric Rice’) is that you should present all the beliefs that should be true to your startup. Then you should decide which ones can be considered true at the value of the face. Then determine which ones need to prove, the fastest possible cheaper experiments you can think of proving.

  1. Your assumptions are elementary

Time and resources in startup are scared. To make the best use of your resources, you should prioritize your unsafe / unconfirmed beliefs – keep those important people who need some resources and time at the top and which are less important and require resources below .

  1. MVP is well-painted

The stories (which describe the product functions) are clearly designated as necessary or compulsory for MVP. Every time a new feature is available for discussion, it goes in one of those buckets.

  1. Development focuses on MVP

Your development organization focuses 100% on getting MVP out of doors for your valid learning. While you should definitely continue to talk about new ideas, the priority of your post-MVP development should be driven by valid education from your clients / users.

Signs of four stories show that you do not have a healthy MVP manufacturing process:

  • Some or any shared beliefs

Out of the major players, there is not a set of shared beliefs about business success. If you are still in the early stages of customer search and business formation, then this is a healthy debate. If you are in the process of implementing MVP, then this is a problem. You should drive on a shared set of assumptions as soon as possible. Remember, the idea is to set up businesses that you need to validate to do business and then have been proved or rejected. As long as all people are working to verify them for some purpose, it is OK to think differently about different ideas about different ideas.

  • The process is organized around a traditional organization chart

A startup is not similar to an established business. A startup requires a small, flat team that is learning about the customer and can implement a very tight search-design-development-deployment loop. Traditional organizational structure (marketing, sales, product management, engineering, operations) is more scalable but very cumbersome (expensive not to mention) for a company to learn what to make and how to work.

  • No explicit success criteria or metrics

How do you validate the assumptions of making your main company? What is the definition of success? When will you know if the plan is working or should you scrap it and should pit for a new plan? If you are not sure about this, then you should get backtrack as soon as possible and work it out.

  • Engineering is behind the scenes

If no engineering is hearing a while developing MVP, then this is usually a crisis signal. If you are very quick in the product development process, It is unusual that there is no question for people to talk to people. If the customer’s search and engineering team are the same, then obviously, this is fine.