Lean thinking – you’re doing it wrong

1 Apr 2016 by Scott Middleton

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

Businesses with digital projects have accepted that lean thinking and agile methodologies provide the best approach for their projects and ventures.

Start-ups use them as a matter of necessity. Commonwealth Bank, Suncorp, Telstra, Fairfax and even the Australian government have realised the value in this new method.

Lean thinking and an agile approach work by taking an iterative, evolving approach to developing an idea rather than the more traditional, stages of plan, develop and deliver as a whole. Lean and agile can shorten product development cycles, reduce the risk of misunderstanding user needs, increase the likelihood you create something that sticks and, if it doesn’t work, decrease the cost of the failed project.

Lean isn’t for everyone and here are six watch outs to think about before embarking on your own lean project:

  1. Lean is not the ‘no plan’ plan
  2. You and your stakeholders must accept things will go wrong
  3. Lean isn’t an excuse not to commit to things
  4. Accumulating technical debt
  5. Lean doesn’t mean you can always change your mind and expect immediate results
  6. Knowing when to move away from lean
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