Lean Product Management

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Executive overview

A critical aspect of the focus on achieving business agility includes identifying what is of value to build and then manifesting it in an efficient manner.

In general, there are five different types of work to be done:

  1. Creating new products in new markets for early adopters
  2. Enhancing existing products either to improve functionality or expand markets
  3. Creating new products for existing customers whose needs are reasonably known
  4. Replacing existing software
  5. Maintenance issues (such as bug fixes)

Each of these types of work is done in a different fashion; therefore, it is important to pay attention what type it is.

Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) are a hot topic in the Lean Startup community. They have a different purpose than most of the work done by established companies. Even mid-size companies must attend to enhancing existing products that have an established marketplace. As companies mature, they usually spend a significant amount of effort rewriting software.

The MVP does not cover all of these well. This chapter defines two new types of artifacts to be built. The Minimum Business Increment (MBI) is used when developing an enhancement to a new product or a new product to an existing customer market. The Minimum Viable Replacement (MVR) can be used for updating existing systems in increments.

Thinking incrementally – MVPs, MBIs and MVRs

This chapter looks at the challenge of correctly defining the increments to be realized. There are three concepts to help address this: The Minimum Viable Product for new products, the Minimum Business Increment for enhancing existing products and the Minimum Viable Replacement for replacing existing systems in increments.

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Note

Two online FLEX courses are now being offered – FLEX for SAFe, and Adopting FLEX (the first course in becoming a FLEX trainer).

If you want to learn about how to adopt FLEX in your organization please contact the author, Al Shalloway.