Le Lean Startup en 5 citations

Voici 5 citations choisies d’Eric Ries pour capturer les idées derrière le concept de Lean Startup. Ces citations sont du extraite du livre, “Lean Startup“.

Le succès, ce n’est pas livrer une fonctionnalité. Le succès, c’est apprendre comment résoudre le problème du client.

On célébre quand une fonctionnalité sort car elle représente le travail d’une équipe. Mais c’est pas pour autant que le client va l’utilisée. Comprendre si elle apporte une solution au problème du client, ca c’est a célébrer.

La seule façon de réussir est d’apprendre plus vite que les autres

Une startup réussi lorsque elle a trouvé un business modèle qui lui permet de créer, livrer et capturer de la valeur chez ces clients. Pour trouver ce business modèle, il faut chercher, explorer et apprendre ce qui marche et ce qui ne marche pas. Plus on apprend vite, plus on a des chances de trouver ce business modèle. Et et donc… la seule façon de réussir et d’apprendre plus vite que les autres.

Si tu ne peux pas te planter, tu ne peux pas apprendre.

Pour apprendre ce qui marche, il faut essayer ce qui marche pas. Se tromper, encore et encore jusqu’à ce que en s’améliorant à chaque tentative, on arrive ce qui marche. Cet apprentissage est au coeur du modèle Lean Startup.

Un bon design est celui qui change pour le mieux le comportement des clients

Face a un design on a très vite des options et des préférences. On aime ou pas. Mais la seule vérité c’est celle du client et de son comportement. Est-ce que fasse a ce nouveau design, les comportements des clients. Cela se test sur internet simplement avec des tests A/B.

En cas de doute, simplifier.

What else?

Je vous recommande la lecture du livre complet, disponible chez amazon.

How the Lean Startup is transforming GE

The Lean Startup started as smarter way for startups to build product. Today, the Lean Startup ideas transforms how people think, work and operate together inside organization. The perfect example of such transformation is happening at GE (General Electric).

Janice Semper who is leading an effort to drive a cultural transformation to make GE a simpler, faster and more customer-centric organization shared that story on stage at the Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco last November.

GE recognized that in a rapidly changing world and a companies that strive have the ability to learn, react and adapt faster. In a quest to achieve this, GE tried to re-organise by removing some of the middle management functions. But this had no impact on their ability to react faster.

Interested by the Lean Startup concept, they asked Eric Ries to come-in for a week and work with a few team to show this approach to build new products. After a week of work, the team feedback was very positive. They felt more productive, that they achieved more, collaborated more and had more fun.

But that’s when the teams went back into the organisation problems started. The rest of the organisation didn’t understand how those teams operated. “It as basically like an organ reject.” said Janice. Although the benefits of working in this new way were clear. “So, we took the tools of the Lean Startup and made FastWork”. FastWorks is GE version of the Lean Startup. Renaming it allow GE to make the ideas their own.

To deploy FastWorks, GE trained coaches to the Lean Startup tools and to change management technics. Janice explains GE started using FastWork on projects in its Heath Care division, because it was the most regulated. “If we can make it work in highly regulated industry then we can make it anywhere.”. And it worked. The teams using FastWork managed to work with regulation to find out what was acceptable or not and define a safe framework to run experiments.

Rolling out FastWork to the other divisions helped get new leads and bigger orders, leading to better outcomes. Even in the aviation division where the command book is already full for the next 10 years. People in the company started to apply FastWorks on everything, for instance for before making a powerpoint presentation, they would ask: who is it for? what is the expected outcome? how can I measure it?

Focusing on being fast, agile and customer centric, slowly transformed GE.

As more and more project used FastWorks, the discrepancy between this new way of working and the historical style of leadership became a problem. GE leadership style was about command and control (Six Sigma), prescribing what should be done and valuing perfection.

Realising the problem caused by this discrepancy, GE promoted a new style of leadership and shifting from:

command and control – we tell, you do, we check
⤷ empowerment – your lead, we help you

prescription – we know what needs to be done
⤷ discovery – let’s find out what should be done

measuring activities – this what you did today
⤷ measuring impact – this is the impact your activity had

perfection
⤷ iterations – make in imperfect and then improve it

This transformation pushed GE to question the company core value. This lead to the creation of 5 GE Beliefs, explains Janice. As you can see they are strongly inspired by the Lean Startup principles.

ge-beliefs

GE Beliefs:
1. Customers Determine Our Success
2. Stay Lean to Go Fast
3. Learn and Adapt to Win
4. Empower and Inspire Each Other
5. Deliver Results in an Uncertain World

Read more about GE Lean Startup transformation:

Comment Neopost innove grâce au Lean Startup

Depuis plusieurs années, l’envoi de courrier baisse. Malgré cette baisse, l’un des principaux équipementiers du secteur, Neopost (1,1 milliard de CA en 2014) continue de croître. En effet, l’entreprise a su compléter ses offres courrier par des offres autour de la communication digitale et de l’envoi de colis. Pour créer de nouvelles offres, Neopost organise entre autres un Challenge Innovation qui incite les employés à présenter de nouvelles idées de services. Cette année les participants ont été accompagnés par des experts Lean Startup.

Les 12 projets, coachés par les experts Lean Startup ont en premier décomposé leur idées en hypothèses et puis par des itérations ultra-courtes ont cherché à vérifier chacune de ces hypothèses.

Ils ont interrogé les clients pour comprendre leurs réels besoins, testé et dé-risqué leur proposition de valeur et construit leur MVP. Ces retours leur ont permis de tirer des apprentissages concrets pour faire évoluer leur idée.

Un des projets proposés visait à modifier un dérouleur de ruban adhésif pour poser simplement une poignée sur un colis. Cas typique de l’invention qui cherche son public. Le porteur du projet ayant pris conscience de l’importance de comprendre le besoin du client a vérifié sur le terrain si son idée présentait un intérêt concret pour les commerçants. C’est en interrogeant les cavistes qu’il a réalisé leur besoin de faciliter le transport des caisses pour leur clients.

Neopost-Lean-Startup

Suite a cet accompagnement, les équipes ont présenté leurs résultats au Comité de Direction, puis à l’ensemble du personnel. Par rapport aux années précédentes la différence était marquante, avec notamment :

  • des projets plus matures, plus complets et plus cohérents
  • des business cases plus solides, grâce à une validation poussée des hypothèses.

Ces améliorations a permis un engagement plus grand du management ce qui a eu un impact direct sur la mise en œuvre de certains projets. Parmi eux, un « carnet de santé numérique » qui permet de mieux planifier les interventions et mises à jour des machines sur le terrain. Cet outil s’appuie sur une infrastructure big data récemment mise en place chez Neopost. Le fameux dérouleur de poignée, quand a lui est en phase d’industrialisation. Il a été présenté au concours Lépine 2015 où il a remporté une médaille d’argent.

Laurent Farlotti, Directeur Innovation et Brevets, a observé : “Les projets sont plus matures, avec plus d’éléments business. Les participants étaient très motivées et il y a eu une très bonne réaction du management. Sans Lean Startup, ces projets seraient restés au stade de l’idée et n’auraient probablement jamais eu de suite.”

Le Lean Startup a été introduit en 2013 à Neopost par Philippe Boulanger, CTO du groupe. 80 employés ont été formés à la méthode à ce jour.

Lean Startup: Impact pour nos Grandes Entreprises

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Venu de l’ingénierie de la Silicon Valley, le Lean Startup est en train de révolutionner la façon de créer les startups. Mais pas que. Cette approche pratique et systématique commence à faire son chemin dans nos grandes entreprises françaises.

Le Lean Startup reconnait que la réussite d’un produit passe simplement par son adoption par le marché. Les clients et utilisateurs sont au centre de la démarche dont le but est de comprendre comment créer, livrer et capturer de la valeur pour ses clients.

Face à la planification de développements souvent sans fin, elle prone des itérations rapides sur une version minimal du produit (MVP = Minimum Viable Product) qui permette de mesurer les comportements des clients et à terme de mieux comprendre leur besoins et attentes. Partir d’une idée de service, construire un premier proto avec le minimum d’efforts, mesurer les comportements des utilisateurs, apprendre ce qui marche et qui ne marche pas et itérer. C’est le cœur du Lean Startup, la boucle build-measure-learn.

Le principe est simple : comme la voie du succès est ponctuée d’erreurs, autant les faire le plus vite et à moindre coût afin de pouvoir réorienter ou faire « pivoter » le concept autant de fois que nécessaires.

Aujourd’hui leadées par quelques spécialistes visionnaires (peut-être même illuminés aux yeux de certains), les grandes entreprises en France adoptent le Lean Startup.

    Dans l’entreprise le Lean Startup sert:

  • aux directeurs innovation qui cherchent à équiper leurs équipes de méthodes
  • aux product managers qui utilisent ces outils pour comprendre les besoins clients et faire évoluer leur produit en fonction
  • aux départements marketing qui comprennent les limites des études de marchés et cherchent à renouer le contact direct avec leurs clients

Dans ce monde en constante évolution, le Lean Startup émerge comme l’approche business adapté à notre temps.

How to use surveys to learn from your customers

Too often I have seen entrepreneur trying to understand their customer need by sending them … a survey.

“Please rank those feature in order of preference”

Because surveys capture what people say – which is different from how they behave – they don’t provide insightful data.
Worst, they provides data that too is easily misinterpreted and lead wrong insights…
The most useless survey question I have ever seen:

How much will you pay for a service that does such and such…

Whatever the answer, make sure you ignore it.

no_more_surveys
I have seen 2 rare occasions of useful surveys:

  1. to (scientifically) pick the best domain name
  2. to measure the customer pain. An entrepreneur sent a very long and boring survey his potential early adopters. When the results came back, he did not look at the actual answers but at how many people actually finished the survey. A direct measure of how much trouble they are will go through to get a closer to the solution to their problem. A measure of their pain. He then identifies the most eager early adopters.

Both of those examples are about validation, not discovery.

What do you think ? Do you have other examples of survey that worked ?

The Waterfall Startup

How wise entrepreneurs embrace the predictable outcome of their vision to build innovations.

A new groundbreaking methodology to create predictable outcome in chaotic situations.

waterfall-startup

Pre-order now (via twitter)

Predicted publication date Dec. 2019

Build it and they will come.

This adage has now been proven for centuries: the pyramids, air planes, the Eiffel tower, Disney Land, Dubai, Las Vegas. Built it and they will come. Customer crave for new things pushed with good marketing. Good marketing will sell any well built product.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 22.54.08

The best way to go from A to B

A clear and linear process, that go get your from point A to point B. With an unbeatable certainty.
Not an iterative process that makes you turn around in circles and leaves you where you started.
With the waterfall startup, you are actually making clear, visible and trackable progress. Toward your goal (point B).

timthumb

Requirement-Design-Development-Verification-Maintenance Line

Define the requirement, then design your product, then develop it, verify the quality of your product, launch and enter maintenance mode. If you do it right, marketing and sales will take over the startup will succeed.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Deliver fully finished products

Customers hate prototypes. The Waterfall Startup allows you to control the quality of your product according to your standards and only release your product to your first customer when 100% of the requirements have been delivered. A half baked customer experience (CX) will damage your brand for ever.

Pre-order now (via twitter)

Predicted publication date Dec. 2019

“CEOs hate variance. It’s the enemy. Variance in customer service is bad. Variance in quality is bad. CEOs love processes that are standardized, routinized, predictable. Stamping out variance makes a complex job a bit less complex.”
― Marcus Buckingham

waterfall-startup

Pre-order now (via twitter)

Predicted publication date Dec. 2019

Get big fast.

It’s all about first mover advantage, take the market first or be a follower for ever. Think of Coke and Pepsi… Pizza Hut and Domino’s. With the waterfall startup, plan precisely your growth with a 5 to 10 business plan.

hands-holding-docs

Gather all stakeholder requirements upfront

Predictability makes everything safer for everyone. Fix early on what you are going to build before doing anything else. Involve all internal stakeholder and wait for final formal approval. Once the gate is validated move to the next phase to design the right solution and the test case. Make sure you cover all the edge case. Double and triple check your solution and design. Request again all internal stakeholder formal approval before moving to the next phase.

Pre-order now (via twitter)

Predicted publication date Dec. 2019

slippery-waterfall

Problem Interview Guide for Lean Startup Experience

A hard part of customer development doing problem interview. It’s hard because interviewing strangers is not natural and its also actually hard to do the interview right.

The good news is that practice do make perfect, get it wrong a couple of times and you quickly understand what to correct and what to keep. If you want some simple exercices to improve your problem interview skills tweet this:
What exercice can I do to get better at problem interviews? @fdebane @adamberk

In the meantime, here the problem interview guide we use:
Download the problem interview guide

It’s to print and take as a memo for interviews.
Here is a guide to print and take as a memo for interviews.
You should not read the guide while doing the interview, but can refer to it inbetween interviews.

If you have to remember just 3 rules for problem interviews here they are:

  1. Do not talk about your business idea or product
  2. Ask about past events and behaviours
  3. No leading question, learn from the customer

Download the full problem interview guide

To capture the output of the interview, you can use the problem interview template.

Problem interview template

Problem interview template

Nov-14 2014: Added entry to classify customer into early adopter or not using @Justin_Wilcox definition: someone who is actively trying to solve the problem

Talking to your customers is the starting point to understand their needs. It’s easy to do, but difficult to do well.

On each interview I try want to understand:

  1. pain level of the problem to the eye of the customer. Is this a problem worth solving for them?
  2. the frequency of the problem. How often does it happen?
  3. discover alternative solution the customer have used. How are they solving it today?
  4. understand how they have been looking for those solutions. This provide insights on their journey and is valuable to understand you marketing channels
  5. discover other potential problems related. This allow you to identify other opportunities

I don’t like using a script for interview, it breaks the natural flow of the conversation. But I found having a template to take note helps structure the feedback directly and make sure I am not missing any of the above.

Download the Problem Interview template

If you are doing problem interview with your potential customer, please try it and let me know what you think.

Put this Hammer Down – Why do Customer Discovery ?

DSC_0009

“When you have a hammer everything looks like a nail” -Bernard Baruch

Here, the hammer is your solution and the nails are your customers. I am sure you have already found lots of nails for your hammer. But please take a closer look at those nails. They are screws.

Put the hammer down and look at that poor screw. If it’s actually a nail, take the hammer back and take a swing, but if it’s a screw, you will need something else.

Many entrepreneurs start by building the solution they have imagined (a hammer) and then come up with a list of potential customers that could be interested (screws that look like nails) and hit them with their solution.

And the screw says ouch. The entrepreneur don’t hear the screw and hit harder, ouch, and then try to hit another screw. But the end of the day, the entrepreneur is exhausted that the nothing has being build.

The entrepreneur should really look at the screw, understand what type of screw it is, how the head is, the thread, the length, the alloy. And then think about the tool he can use for the job.

So put the hammer down and take a close look at that screw and decide what the solution should be. Don’t hit the screw on the head.

That’s called Customer Discovery. Remember, no hammer allowed.

Applying the Lean Startup principles to game development

A few month ago, I started exploring how the Lean Startup principles could be applied to computer game development.

This journey lead me to Alexandre Normand co-founder of Execution Labs, an accelerator for game developers inspired by Lean Startup approach. Alexandre started Execution Labs to help independent game developers produce the games they want to build.

In the past years as games shifted from being standalone products to become evolving services, the upfront paid model faded to give birth to the free to play model.

This shift made continuous improvement of computer games possible.

So how does Execution Labs apply Lean Startup to game development ?

Build the MVP/ v0 in 6 months
As the goal is to create player engagement, it’s important that the design and visuals are pretty and pleasant enough. To go faster, don’t reduce or compromise the quality of the graphics, but rather reduce the amount or variety of graphics produced.
Fixing the development time to 6 months forces to focus on what really matter for the game to be good. Some game are tested early with paper prototype.

Continuous and regular customer feedback
Test the game every other week with 10 to 15 players. Regularly player come to the Execution Lab to play with the prototypes. This provide the game developers precious qualitative feedback, on top of the quantitative tracking already in place.

Limited launch on test markets
Launch the v0 on test markets, similar enough to your target markets but with a smaller population – typically Canada, NZ, AUS or Finland.

Meta-game comes later
The initial focus is on the core loop. The goal is to test and iterate so the core become fun and engaging. The meta game comes later. The meta game will insure the longer term retention and repeated play.

Alexandre confirmed that to build a game, programming is the most time consuming activity, followed by graphic design and game design.

So as far as reducing waste, programming should be the place to look next.

Here is the Execution Lab process.

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