In an iterative process like software development, over time what defines winners and losers is not how fast teams deliver features. It's how fast they learn about what works and what doesn't for their businesses.
Delivering less in each cycle actually helps them to learn faster. In software development, most of the value comes from acting on customer/user/market feedback.
Every feature we're asked to deliver is at best a guess. And we can cram as many guesses as we like into each cycle of delivery, but our productivity is not defined by this. It's defined by how readily we can act on the feedback we get with each delivery. The more frequent the feedback, and the longer we can sustain our ability to act on feedback, the sooner we will arrive at the real value in what we're creating.
In a market like Video-On-Demand, we can be sure of one thing. Whatever strategies work today, they will probably be irrelevant tomorrow. The challenge of products like YouTube, iPlayer and Canvas is in recognising that continuous, sustained evolution in years to come is what will define the market leaders, not fast delivery to gain market share in the short term.
Extract from Jason Gorman, you can read the rest of his post here. He is focusing on the obvious deficiencies in the UK government's "Digital Strategy" which has so far totally failed to take into account these principals. His post is mainly from a coding perspective but the 'learn fast' model he outlines is one we try and stick to at Made by Many in all aspects of what we do. Equally, we can face similar challenges when we work with clients who are not used to approaching service delivery from the perspective of 'sustained evolution'.
Just discovered this excellent post from Energized Works, who recently gave us some Agile training, on sacking off the ritual in favour of a natural flow.
Another thing is ... we don't need no stinkin' process . I reckon it's because our team is small, has only generalising specialists who have worked together for ages, we trust one another implicitly, and our environment is extremely collaborative and fun-packed. Ok, it's not entirely accurate that we have no process. I just wanted to use the Blazing Saddles clip. There is some semblance of a process but, honestly, it really, really doesn't feel like it. It just feels like the natural flow a conversation takes. Perhaps it's that the interactions are so second nature to us it just seems like everything is a conversation triggered by something that's happened or has been discovered:
In this post Andrew Chen discusses both technical debt and product design debt.
In the post How I Document my Business Model Hypotheses, Ash Maurya talks about documenting business models with a business model canvas.