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Elyssa Pallai

VP Marketing

Digital marketer and translator, Elyssa spends her time putting NPD and engineering concepts into plain english and working on new and meaningful ways to connect with Playbook's amazing clients.

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6 Ideas for Transforming Your Approach to Product Development

Elyssa Pallai- 04/14/17 05:51 PM

Effective product development teams are proactive learners. They thrive on change and active discovery and problem solving. In this environment, the need to be Lean and Agile is a given. Here are 6 Lean ideas that will rev up your already high-performing teams...

Six ideas for transforming your approach to product development

  1. Understand the economic impact of your project decisions

    Teams often need to make choices between things like launching early or delaying a product launch to add a new feature. Understanding what makes economic sense is critical and easy to calculate. However, most product development teams base these decisions on gut feel.

    The benefit of making project decisions based on economics goes beyond cost. It also reduces team conflict and provides clarity around ROI.

  2. Reduce the workload

    When you overload the system in product development you greatly increase project timelines. People only have so much true capacity to complete project related tasks.  Booking resources above 70% actually slows down projects as opposed to speeding them up. At the same time, having too many projects on the go at once has the same effect -- project launch dates get pushed out. 

  3. Work on the right task at the right time

    We've written extensively about the fact that projects become late one day at a time. As project changes take place, task priorities change as well. Playbook is the only tool on the market that algorithmically and dynamically adjusts tasks priorities across the organization to ensure team members are working on the right thing at the right time.

    It's time to ditch the static Gantt chart. They just don't make the cut in this environment.

  4. Innovation has a cost - risk

    Like in life, change is a the only constant in product development. Inherent in change is risk. Successful teams learnhow to actively and vigorously manage risk so they can continue to innovate while missing the potholes along the road.

  5. Learn as early as possible

    Things like daily standup meetings (scrums and huddles) facilitate smaller batch learning. When you learn earlier, you reduce risk earlier. Similarly, developing a product in small batches' enables you to show your client or a potential customer or your work colleagues a minimal viable product earlier. This enables you to discover issues, as well as benefits, earlier so you can make changes with minimal effort.

  6. Actively manage the critical path

    By making the critical path visible along with issues that may be blocking it, projects can be proactively (vs. retroactively) managed. Rolling wave planning and daily stand-ups work hand-in-hand to drive projects to quick completion.

Have more Lean ideas to share? Leave them in the comments!


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