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Lean Business Building hacks: Separate ideation from execution

Creating a product that people want is hard. Knowing up front what people want is even harder. The best way is to go through the process and see what happens. Get it out in front of your customers. Ship it.

We ship early and often by deploying a process called Lean Business Building.  Lean Business Building mixes Design Thinking, sales execution and Lean Startup principles and cadence. Lean Business Building accelerates insights, market traction and minimizes risks and cash flow outlays. Early wins are a key priority in every Lean Business Building process.

During a recent client engagement we were challenged as it relates to time and budget. Management had required extra items to be delivered under the existing time frame. We were already covering several domains and the project plan left little time and money to add new things. This particular project is visible within the organization and with the ecosystem of stakeholders. It deals with emerging technology and has radical transformation and budget impact as a desired and possible outcome.  We were pondering solutions to the problem.

The client suggested we compress the scheduled next workshop and make ideation and execution part of the same flow. Ideation is the process of coming up with ideas for solutions to the problem identified. Ideation is brainstorming. Good brainstorming specifies you to defer judgement. Execution is the process of evaluation and executing (prototyping) the solution. If you judge ideas immediately upon creation you will end up hindering idea generation. The two don’t mix well.

We found another solution by going another direction. We went the opposite way and further separated the three domains. With the further constraints to time and budget we focused on shipping an MVP, a useful solution (judged by users) for each domain. We found some shortcuts but stayed within scope and delivered on the objectives. We rapidly created MVP’s for the domains where it was possible, shipping them in a useful state. We allocated the precious software development hours to where it was most necessary.

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The outcome was tremendous. The organization and stakeholders have been rewarded with useful MVP’s that are being tested in the field. Management has proven that money invested in Lean Business Building projects have high ROI. The client has more appetite for these type innovation projects and we are breeding a true innovation culture within.  The organization’s products and services impact thousands of users every day, users that will be more delighted and have higher affinity for our client.

Separate ideation and execution and your venture creation process will deliver better outcomes.

For information on transforming your business through Lean Business Building please contact us via or call us at +1.844.528.2785.