Lean and Continuous Innovation

The Lean Startup approach, pinoneered by Eric Reis, applies to getting something new off the ground and sustained by continuous improvement. It is based on real customer feedback, experience and market validation. While the intended audience is startups, it is just as relevant to continuously innovating products and services in an existing company. 

One of the underlying principles, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), is a change-inherent concept that, ironically, has always been embedded in Anne’s instinctive approach to defining products and services. It is customer-centric and sets the stage from the beginning to expect change.

Also, combining Lean and Agile – both aligned with Value definition and Delivery – is a natural fit.  It is not one or the other.

Key concepts aligned with Lean Startup:

  • Entrepreneurship [and intrapreneurship] are the driving forces of our customer-centric, innovation economy and global marketplace of the 21st century
  • Orderly, lightweight practice disciplines that are change-friendly are more effective than either extreme (anarchy – and bureaucratic paralysis)
  • The goal is building targeted product and services at the right time that delivers value (aka Minimum Viable Product) while expecting it to evolve based on usage and changing business needs
  • Change is a good thing, should be expected and handled efficiently.
  • Align with MVP implementation approaches and technique for ideation, refinement and delivery
  • Demonstrate progress and shared understanding regularly to solicit feedback, validate path and make appropriate changes (pivot)

Closely related:

  • Agile Value Delivery: customer-aligned value delivered in smaller packages as frequently as possible
  • Lean Transformation: applies and integrated Agile, Business Model Canvas and Lean principles like Minimum Viable Product to change and innovation initiatives (Change Canvas, Minimum Viable Change).
  • Lean Six Sigma: applies and integrates Six Sigma and Lean principles to create a lighter weight methodology to improve overall quality of the workplace (more efficient and effective with less effort) that focuses on defect and problem prevention rather than detection