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El blog de Mikel Niño
Emprendimiento digital, startups, Big Data Analytics y nuevos modelos de negocio

How Lean Startup and Customer Development help to align our team's vision and goals and our startup's workflow

An interesting additional benefit when practicing methods like Lean Startup and Customer Development is that, given that they are specially designed to help us to manage environments with a high uncertainty such as building a startup, they contribute to align our team's vision (not a trivial task, as we have discussed before) around a set of common goals and, in fact, to provide us with a more stable context for our workflow, therefore avoiding management "by crisis" or "against the clock".

The environment of a startup and the first steps of building a digital product are noted for the initial will and energy to achieve the first commercial contacts which somehow validate our proposal. The proximity of a presentation, a demo, a test in front of potential customers... can accelerate the heartbeat of all the team and motivate it to do that extra effort.

The problem arises when all those milestones are not part of a plan designed in cooperation with those potential customers, to whom we ask to be part of this process. When a startup's work flows "to the rhythm of the demos" we risk falling into a management model defined by moments of crisis (when suddenly we have to give our 200% because we come across a new opportunity), creating an important uneasiness in the organization when those commercial deadlines are not in sight, because the milestones we tend to use as a guideline disappear and the product might evolve in the wrong way.

The use of methods like Lean Startup and Customer Development, without aspiring to be a "magical recipe" which guarantees us success in every situation or makes us the next Google, gives us stability to orientate the organization, thanks to workflows and market-focused milestones that can be planned in advance and arranged with potential customers as part of a co-creation process, where we must guarantee those "pilot customers" a minimum value in exchange for their implication. Thanks to that, we will have clear and stable guidelines for our product's development, and at the same time we will avoid being trapped in a "management by crisis" model or suffering from the "product dead cycle" effect.

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