How Lean Saves You Money
Dave Fletcher, founder and MD of web and apps developer White October believes that by using tried and tested Lean methods in product development, you can make your idea work better while spending less of your budget. Here he explains how it works for his customers.
You Have a Great Idea
If you’re like most of our customers then you’ll have a great idea that you really believe in. Your idea could be about how to solve a problem in your business or sector. Or it could be about how to take advantage of an opportunity you’ve noticed. Either way your idea will be a good one and you’ll need help to make it happen.
However, at some point in the past you’ve probably had a bad experience of developing good ideas into products. Maybe your product didn’t develop as smoothly as intended. It may have missed big deadlines, gone over budget or delivered ineffective results. You’re scared of this happening again and how much your idea might cost. Your budget is finite and your company may even see software development as expensive and risky.
Whatever your past experiences, taking a Lean approach helps you drastically cut the risks and deliver a better product, for less money.
Why Lean is the Solution
“Lean: a method for developing products that shortens their development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and ‘validated learning.” - Wikipedia
Lean is a blend of techniques originally developed to bring pioneering high-tech products effectively to market. These techniques are now being adopted across the globe by individuals, teams and companies looking to introduce new products or services into the market. Because of their proven success we use these techniques across all our projects.
By deploying Lean techniques, we treat your idea with care and belief, while rigorously testing out its viability by identifying, challenging and then validating your assumptions before making significant decisions. This approach minimises risks and conserves your budget, ensuring every penny is spent as efficiently as possible.
The result? You get more time and money to spend on the best possible version of your idea.
Testing Assumptions Avoids Waste
We all make assumptions. Its part of life, especially when we’re at the early stages of an idea. At this stage we usually make assumptions about who will use the eventual product and how.
At White October we help you test these assumptions. We help you make good decisions based on what you know while testing or postponing what you don’t. This drastically reduces the chances of making an incorrect assumption, setting off in the wrong direction and wasting money on ideas or features that aren’t going to work.
If this story sounds familiar it’s because everyone has done it, even (and especially) the most successful companies.
Lean Conserves Your Budget for the Most Valuable Features
“Lean methodology favours simple experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional “big design up front” development.” - Harvard Business Review, May 2013
Our approach to Lean identifies assumptions in your thinking, creates simple experiments to test them, identifies the risks and points you in the direction of solutions. In short it gets the proof you need of the most cost effective direction to take your idea.
Once you’ve made your decision we develop the simplest but most value-filled working version of your product possible. As we do this we keep testing everyone’s assumptions, building in small iterations, measuring their effectiveness and learning from the results. We then help you release your product and get fast, quantitative feedback from its users.
By this point you will have:
A working version of your product that already delivers real value to its users.
Specific, informed feedback on the most valuable aspects of your product.
A significant wedge of your budget left to spend on developing your product’s most valuable features even further.
So if you have an idea which you believe in but are concerned it will cost too much to bring to market, give me a call as chances are it won’t be as costly as you think.
Dave Fletcher is founder and MD of White October. Over the past 10 years he has grown the agency to 25 full time staff.
Dave completed a Mathematics degree from Nottingham University before training on the job as an analyst programmer with RM Plc in Oxfordshire. With a passion for the web and its potential, Dave has kept at the forefront of technology. He and White October have gravitated towards projects that pose a technical challenge – his creative drive, technical grounding, and commercial awareness make him ideally placed to advise clients on product development strategy.
Phone +44 (0) 1865 920707