Can you practice Lean Startup in the Enterprise?

Last week at the inaugural The Lean Event in Brighton, England I gave a new talk called Scaling Lean: Project, Program, Portfolio. You can see the slides here. In the talk I discussed the challenges of scaling Lean Startup practices in large companies. Despite all the talk of wanting to act like startups and build/measure/learn when it … Continue reading Can you practice Lean Startup in the Enterprise?

Lean UX in the Enterprise

I've spent the past 5 years speaking, teaching, coaching and working with teams aspiring to bring a customer-centric point of view to their product development processes. Some have seen great success. Some, despite strong desire and a willingness to adapt have struggled. The challenges the successful teams have overcome have rarely been tactical ones. They've … Continue reading Lean UX in the Enterprise

Agile is not a substitution for vision

  In his blog post from 2011, Mike Cottmeyer, an agile consultant and coach, listed off the 13 most common reasons his clients began their agile transformation. The list contains reasons like, “faster time to market”, “early ROI” and “risk reduction and predictability.” My sense is that this spectrum of drivers falls along a timeline … Continue reading Agile is not a substitution for vision

There is no such thing as a killer feature

The other night we had reason to celebrate. Something we'd been waiting on for 2 years had finally come through. We'd worked hard and it paid off. My wife suggested we go out to a steak dinner. Forgetting for a second that I don't eat beef (hey, there's always the "surf" half of "surf n … Continue reading There is no such thing as a killer feature

The biggest mistake in product discovery: missing the value

In 2010 we visited Ireland for the first time. My wife and I made Galway our first stop. This was the first time we'd been this far away from the kids so we wanted to make sure our mobile phones worked properly. Sure enough, as these things have a way of working out, we were … Continue reading The biggest mistake in product discovery: missing the value

Agile doesn’t have a brain

  My friend Bill Scott once said at a conference, "Agile doesn't have a brain." What he meant by that is due to Agile's software engineering roots many organizations that have adopted Scrum, XP and similar methodologies have done so through their engineering departments. This has led to the creation of amazing software development departments that … Continue reading Agile doesn’t have a brain

Clients don’t want to buy experiments

When Josh Seiden, Giff Constable and I first launched Proof (now Neo NYC) we had a vision for a studio that designed and built meaningful, successful digital businesses for our clients. We would work with agile methodologies and incorporate lean thinking into our process focusing heavily on early experimentation, validation and course correction before committing … Continue reading Clients don’t want to buy experiments

Do you really have executive buy-in?

Seven years ago I moved back to the East Coast and took a job at an agency. Before accepting my offer I asked my potentially new boss how much support she believed the agency had for interaction design (they were strong on visual design and content). She replied with a note from the President of … Continue reading Do you really have executive buy-in?

What’s the difference between a business analyst and product manager?

In my consulting practice I visit many companies. In the younger companies (say, 20 years old or younger) the role of the Business Analyst is often non-existent or, at best, a relic of the "early days." In these, usually Agile, companies, product managers lead the charge with product vision, ownership, customer development, competitive analysis and … Continue reading What’s the difference between a business analyst and product manager?

It’s not enough to build a culture your teams can “live with”

I suffer from a chronic condition. It's nothing life-threatening and I am lucky that I have a relatively mild form of it. However, left untreated, it makes day-to-day life quite uncomfortable. I was first diagnosed when I was 22 and for close to 20 years now have been taking one form or another of daily … Continue reading It’s not enough to build a culture your teams can “live with”