I met with a client partnership recently. The partnership comprised of John and Jim (names changed to protect the guilty), and I asked how they felt the process we were following, one based on Lean Start-up principles, was going. Whereas John thought the process was fine and could see the value in it, Jim said “that it was tedious going through all the steps.”
We discussed Jim’s observations, and from a certain perspective, Jim is correct. If you, and beyond all doubt, have a solution that will solve prospective customers’ problems and you know that there are plenty of prospects in the market that will pay your price to have you solve their problem(s), then following some process just for the sake of it will be tedious. In addition, if you have the resources, such as money, to jump straight from brilliant idea to final solution and market launch and it won’t matter to your financial position if you are wrong, then go ahead and reduce the suspense, just do it!
If on the other hand there is any doubt about your problem/solution fit and your solution/market fit, and you can’t afford to risk a boat-load of money on one toss of the coin, then following a process, however seemingly tedious, is the least-risk and least-cost way to proceed. I’m an advocate for both the principles of Lean Thinking because of its emphasis on maximising benefits while eliminating, as far as possible, waste, and also Lean Start-up methods, with their “combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, interactive product releases, and validated learning.” Wikipedia 2019. But wait, there’s more, they work! I’ll write more about Lean things in future posts.