Discipline for founders, innovators and entrepreneurs: the main thing is productive!

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Text comes from: Lean Startup: Schnell, risikolos und erfolgreich Unternehmen gründen (2014) by Eric Ries, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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The LeanStartup method derives its name from the LeanManufacturing Revolution, the so-called lean production, whose development is attributed to Toyota and the two Japanese Taiichi Ohno and Shigeo Shingo. Sleek thinking has triggered a radical change in value chains and manufacturing systems.

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Here writes for you:


Eric Ries 80Eric Ries has established the lean start-up method and made it popular.


From the author:


Principles of the method

The principles of this method include, among other things, the utilization of knowledge, the individual responsibility of each individual employee, the reduction of lot sizes, justintime production, inventory control and the acceleration of cycle times.

They showed the world the difference between value-adding activities and waste and showed how product quality can be increased from the inside out. The LeanStartup concept aligns these ideas with the context in which entrepreneurs operate, who should judge their progress differently than in other areas of the company.

Validated learning to eliminate waste

Advances in manufacturing are measured by the production of high quality physical goods. The LeanStartup method assumes a different definition of the term “progress”; we mean validated learning.

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Because the learning process is our benchmark, we can recognize and eliminate the enormous waste that affects entrepreneurial thinking and action.

What is an entrepreneurship theory?

A comprehensive entrepreneurship theory should address all aspects of an innovative, risky initiative:

Vision and concept, product development, marketing and sales, scale-up, partnerships and distribution, structure and organizational design.

Lean StartUp method for what

It should provide startup initiatives with a method to measure progress in the context of extreme uncertainty. It should provide entrepreneurs with clear guidance for the serious decisions they face:

  • If and when they invest in work processes;
  • how to design, plan and deploy the infrastructure;
  • whether to go the path alone or strive for a partnership;
  • when to react to feedback and when to stick to his vision;
  • how and when one should consider a transfer of the business model.
  • Above all, it should enable verifiable forecasts.

Take, for example, the recommendation to form cross-functional teams and to give them the responsibility for the milestones in the learning process, instead of strictly setting up departments according to functional aspects.

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Functional teams or functional departments?

Such functional departments would include, for example, marketing, sales, information technology, human resources departments - all areas where employees are responsible for good performance in their specialist area.

Whether you agree with the recommendation or skepticism, you decide to implement it, and I am sure that you will get the feedback from your teams pretty quickly that the new process will affect their productivity.

Efficiency through passing through

You will be asked to revert to the old way of working, which gave your employees the opportunity to maintain “their efficiency” by working overtime and handing over tasks to other departments.

You can confidently predict this result, and not just because I have it in many Company have seen. It is a clear forecast that refers to the “start phase” of the LeanStartup theory.

To be productive means to have done what?

When employees are accustomed to measuring their productivity locally, they feel they have done something by doing their jobs for a full day to their satisfaction.

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During my work as a programmer, this meant programming eight hours without interruption. If I succeeded, it was a good day for me.

A new way to measure your own productivity

If, on the other hand, I were torn from my troubles by questions, other processes, or God, I felt bad. What had I done on such days?

Codes and functions were tangible to me; I could see, understand, point to it. Learning processes, on the other hand, are frustratingly intangible. The LeanStartup method requires a new way to measure one's own productivity.

Startups do not need to be productive

As start-ups often develop products and services that ultimately no one wants, it does not matter whether they stick to time or budget. The goal of a startup is to find out as quickly as possible what it should offer - what customers want and what they are willing to pay.

In other words, the LeanStartup method provides a new way to look at the development of innovative new products; it places emphasis on short cycle times, customer feedback, a broad vision and high-level goals - all at the same time.

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