Heuristics for Building the Right Thing
On Monday I had the privilege of spending the day with some really smart people. Organised by Gojko Adjic, other attendees included Chris Matts, Henrik Kniberg, Mary and Tom Poppendieck, Gabby Benefield, Jeff Patton, Aaron Sanders and Olaf Lewitz.
The theme of the day was exploring how we can help organisations not just build the “thing right”, but build the “right thing”. We spent the morning sharing and exploring the various techniques we used, such as Story Mapping, Impact Mapping, Effect Mapping, Feature Injection, Real Options and Lean Canvas. We then moved onto more general discussion on the problem we are trying solve, before focussing back in on putting something together to try and articulate the commonalities we had found and create a platform to continue the conversation and try and make an impact ourselves.
Henrik has already blogged one statement summarising our conclusions.
Great results happen when:
- People know why they are doing the work
- Organisations focus on outcomes and impacts rather than features
- Teams decide what to do next based on immediate and dircet feedback from the use of their work
- Everyone cares
Another output was what I called “Heuristics for Building the Right Thing”. I mentioned heuristics in relation to Kanban Thinking, and again, the goal was to provide enough guidance for people to learn, without constraining to specific solutions or techniques. We started by brainstorming ideas and then grouped those into 5 themes, before putting some action-focussed words describe the themes. We noticed that there was a general feedback loop that the heuristics formed, and that there was a missing heuristic that was central to everything. Thus we ended up with:
- Understand your customer
- Be Comfortable with Ambiguity
- Learn Fast
- Make an Impact
- Make it Visible