280 Group CEO and Founder, Brian Lawley, is once again joined by the prominent author, consultant and trainer, Greg Cohen. Greg works for 280 Group and has authored best-selling books such as Agile Excellence for Product Managers, Lean Product Management, and Strategy Excellence for Product Managers.
Today Greg will share three ways that Product Managers can apply Lean methodologies in their day to day work.
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Three things you can do right out of the gate are increase transparency and visibility across the team, really focus on how you prioritize, and concentrate on flow efficiency; which is how long it takes you to get from idea to minimum viable product and ultimately a generally available release.
Let’s drill down further with each piece.
The first way to apply Lean Product Management is to increase transparency.
We like to set teams up with a discovery Kanban board. That way everyone can see where the team is in the discovery process and identify if anything is blocked or getting delayed.
Greg recommends using Trello as a tool for this if there are no in-house tools available because it is simple and free.
The second concept is focusing on prioritization.
At 280 Group we have a number of lenses we use but one of the lean lenses is weighted shortest job first. It’s looking at what we call the cost of delay or the time sensitivity of a product, and the duration it’s going to take to complete that, trying to get the highest value out as soon as possible.
We don’t let teams use that technique unless they’ve done good research first. So the voice of the customer and what the customer prioritizes and values is also in that process.
The third concept is flow efficiency.
This is looking at how long it takes us to go from an idea and opportunity, and get that tested in the market with a minimum viable product or out to the market eventually as a generally available release.
We find that when teams take a lean mindset and start paying attention to these metrics, they can cut their time to market in half.
Teams and companies that want to get more value to the market much faster can apply lean methodologies and really get some results; particularly important if you’re in a market where competition and technology is very intense and rapidly changing.