Thursday, July 16, 2015

Use the best of Lean Startup, Scrum and XP

This is short blog on using the best practices from Lean Startup, Scrum and XP.
During product development there are situations where sometimes it is not clear what the customer really wants. In such situations, assuming that the problem is clear and developing the features in the iterations may not be a good idea. This is because even if we run an iteration which is as short as 2-3 weeks and then get feedback, it will be a futile exercise as we may develop some features assuming that what we are developing may solve some customer’s problem and later we come to know that customer don’t want the features, which we developed. So we need to have some methodology which helps in developing what the customer really wants. Here is where we can use the best of Lean Startup, Scrum and XP.

Lean Startup
Lean startup is a method for developing businesses and products. Startups can shorten their product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases and validated learning. Here the practice of Problem Validation, Solution Validation and Scaling can be used.

Scrum is an iterative and incremental agile software development methodology for managing product development. 

 Extreme programming (XP)
 Extreme programming (XP) is a software development methodology which is intended to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements.

Problem and Solution Validation
Problem validation is when we are really ascertaining the real problem which customer if facing. Here we may use simple practices like interview, Talk in depth with customer, quick wire framing or prototyping to really be sure that the product development team understood the problem correctly. Sometimes requirement is realized or developed as a product in an iterative manner and that is considered as problem validation. In fact this is not true. Moment we start developing the requirement, we are doing solution validation. After the problem validation the next step is when we propose to the customer about the feature or requirement which if the product has, can resolve the problem or not. Here practices like wireframing, scrum and XP practices can help in quick feedback and development. The underlying point is that every time we have a hypothesis which we prove right or wrong though various experiments in the problem and solution validation stages.
Below is a proposed approach which can be followed for the product development where the product can be developed in an iterative fashion using the Scrum, XP and Lean Startup practices.

During the Product Validation and Solution Validation, Practices from Scrum, XP, and practices from Lean Startup – Lean Canvas, Wireframing, Hypothesis driven approach etc. can be used. We can use Hypothesis to arrive at the  Minimum Viable product and use various experiments to prove the hypothesis. This way we can step by step develop and iteratively show the product to the customer and take necessary feedback. 
Remember that we should not jump into features or solution development without validating the problem. Lean Startup and the best of Scrum and XP helps us in doing this.

Some references :
User Story Mapping- Jeff Patton with Peter Economy
The Lean Startup- Eric Ries
The Startup Owners Manual- Steve Blank
Running Lean- Ash Maurya 

1 comment:

John Robert said...

I think the best option for this is to hire a team or a company that have the experience of year in this field, because they better know what would be the best thing to applying lean.Lean Startups