Process in a positive light

When people think of great products,

They usually think of innovation,

Or great experience,

Or great value,

Or some celebrity entrepreneur.

But that is not entirely true.

That is the output, not what it takes to get there…

Most important ingredients for building a great product are People and Process.

This is especially true for products looking to scale,

Whether in a #startup or a new #product in a larger company…

The kind of people and processes you need for scale are different from what you had when you were getting started.

Not understanding this makes it harder.

To go from 5 to 50 customers,

Or from $100K to $1M or $500K to $5M or higher.

And more often than not, teams and companies fumble;

They achieve a lot less than they could have,

And in some cases crumble or slow down instead of accelerating.

Let’s take one of these today – Process

If you are working in a startup or small company this term conjures up negative images.

Perhaps from red tape in government or large companies you have interacted with.

But process does not mean there has to be a lot of it.

It simply means a good way of doing things is understood.

It is defined and communicated,

It is encouraged and sometimes enforced,

One such area that we often see broken across #startups and small to mid sized product businesses is

* Scope planning and definition *

Many a times backlog or feature scope is not defined anywhere.

A cursory description is included and most of the rest is discussed when required.

Lack of clarity means developers and product managers and QA all have their own interpretation.

Everyone agrees at the beginning of a sprint or milestone.

And everyone disagrees at the end of it.

Finger pointing or worse ensues.

Teams sit down and try to sort things out.

Sometimes a “bug fixing” sprint is required,

Sometimes release to customers is delayed,

If there is sales or delivery pressure, then late nights or weekends are shot,

You can operate like this in “fire-fighting” mode for some time,

Not forever.

Have you seen or experienced this?

How do you address it?

Similar to MVP and can there be an MRP?

Minimum required process

(We have seen good results with many of our clients)