When researching how to set up a business, you’ll most likely come across the traditional method, which appears like this:
- Consider developing a business to meet a market need.
- Make a business plan.
- To obtain funding, pitch the plan to explore big corporations or private investors.
- Start selling once the company is up and running.
While this is a common approach, it is not necessarily the best. It can take 30 days duration or more than a year to get funding and launch your business after you’ve written a business plan.
When you open your doors, you may discover that there is no longer a demand for your products and services or that someone else has beaten you to the market.
You can avoid this situation by using the lean startup methodology. It describes Business development as an experiment in this startup strategy.
It focuses on experimentation and actively collaborating with prospective clients to help you create a product or service that they require.
The lean startup method can help you save time and financial resources while putting you better for success.
- Introduction to Lean Methodology
- The Lean Startup Methodology
- Build, Measure, and Learn: The Lean Startup Methodology’s Key Principle
- List of Beneficial Tools for Startup Product Managers using Lean Startup Methodology
Introduction to Lean Methodology
A Japanese automobile manufacturer, Toyota, introduced a concept known as “The Toyota Way” in the 1930s (The Toyota Production System, TPS). Toyota claims that it has been able to consistently produce the “highest-quality cars with the least faults of any competing manufacturer while using fewer man-hours, very little on stock, and half the storage space of its competing companies.”
A quarter-century later, in the areas of product development, John Krafcik would then borrow from this concept and coin the term “lean.” In their book, Lean Thinking, Daniel T Jones and Dr James P Womack sought to clarify the term “lean” in 1996.
According to Jones and Womack, the lean concept entails five steps:
- Defining value,
- Tracking the customer value,
- Creating flow,
- Establishing pull, and
- Achieving perfection
The lean concept has gained popularity in the startup world over the last decade or so.
The lean startup methodology (LSM) has emerged as the most innovative approach to product development. Eric Ries’s book The Lean Startup promoted the LSM technique by introducing the build-measure-learn feedback system. Lean is not just about failing quickly and cheaply.” So, what exactly is it about? “It’s about introducing a process, a methodology for research and development.”
For the product manager, this model provides a successful approach. To introduce new and latest products to the market while minimizing unnecessary costs.
The Lean Startup Methodology
The Lean Startup method takes a scientific approach to build and edit startups to get the desired product into customers’ hands as soon as possible. The Lean Startup theory requires you to guide a startup—when to change and persevere—and grow a company as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is an effective strategy for the development of new products.
Build, Measure, and Learn: The Lean Startup Methodology’s Key Principle
The build-measure-learn loop is a testable process for creating, testing, and receiving feedback on the most efficient method of introducing a product.
This method can be viewed as ensuring that product managers do not waste time and money developing and mastering a product that will fail. Even though success is never guaranteed, the model advises managers in favour of getting products to market to take the following steps:
The Product managers are in charge of determining or putting into perspective the problem that needs to be solved. The development team then creates a product version known as the ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP).
If the company is transferring from an initial period, this phase may also apply the lessons learned from that cycle. The operation’s overall purpose is to broaden the core idea as much as possible before implementing it in making a product.
This step includes putting the product through its paces. For certain products, testing may include trials with dummy customers. In other cases, experimentation could be carried out using prototype User experiences or data compiled.
The taking measurements process must generate data to be analyzed. Factors and concepts must be categorized from this same type of data and for information obtained to be displayed in the training phase.
Product managers can lead their teams in making inch-by-inch changes to meet customer demand based on the information obtained. The learning process also notifies the company whether it should continue to improve the product (persevere) or change its direction permanently or temporarily (pivot).
While this list might very well start making this stage appear to be the last, the concept of a loop implies that the process returns to the beginning. Whether you change direction or persevere, your actions in the next circle will be significantly affected by the lessons you learned in the previous one.
List of Beneficial Tools for Startup Product Managers using Lean Startup Methodology
Product managers that want to follow the Lean startup management model will need several tools at each stage. We’ve highlighted the crucial tools within each phase of the loop:
The Design Phase
The product manager will look for tools to exchange ideas, track ideas, create hypotheses and a new feature, and begin preparing for the experimental procedure during the building stage.
Canvas with a Lean
According to the creators of Lean Canvas, this tool is a simple 1-page template that helps break down just an idea through its core elements.
They point out that this eliminates the need for complex business plans, which take a lot of time to write, are rarely updated and are rarely read by others.
QuickMVP claims to give innovative teams a method to evaluate and validate ideas “without wasting time or money.” It can examine the relative requirement for ideas, identify the most promising opportunities, and gather and store customer insights in a single location.
Intercom claims itself as the leading “Business Messenger for both you and your clients.” Aside from giving you a place to communicate with potential and actual clients, the service includes a tool called Product Tours.
It helps in user onboarding, emphasizes new product features, and provides consumers with interactive guidance on using your product.
The support of the latest generally requires comprehensive collaboration among team members. “Channels” are given by Slack so that “you and your team will know how and where to ask questions, facilitate sharing and interaction, and stay in the cycle.”
You can use this service to share files, connect in a face-to-face call, and work collaboratively with partners. According to Slack, over 750,000 businesses are already using this service.
The Phase of Measurement
At this stage, product managers concentrate on evaluating performance and obtaining the necessary metrics to determine exactly what the market requires and how it responds to the manufactured product during the build stage.
It is a website that allows you to test the usability of your website. The UXTesting platform is the “best User Experience partner verified by designers and researchers for its efficiency and performance.” This is achieved by providing a platform for UX testing and the enrollment of global testers.
The service uses a typical process that assists product managers:
- “Understand the goals and products.”
- “Develop a comprehensive research strategy based on your objectives.”
- “Select target testers and plan the research session.”
- “Conduct user testing to gather qualitative and quantitative data.”
- “Produce analysis.”
Campaign Monitor is an email marketing automated testing tool that helps businesses interact with customers. Users can create custom email templates using drag and drop functionality, which eliminates the need for coding.
It can be helpful during the measurement phase when product managers need as many participants to reply to their communication as possible.
Rapid User Tests
It has over 30,000 testers for specific groups, enables product managers to verify how user-friendly their products are.
The primary goal of these tests is to assess what users think to enhance their products based on customer needs.
Stage of Learning
During the learning stage, developing teams make decisions based on the data gathered during the measurement phase. As a result, this is a stage that necessarily involves the use of analytical tools.
Verify gives a venue for development teams to collect thousands of feedback points and measurable results from thousands of users on demand.
The quality and performance of instant and usable data points make it a must-have tool for understanding user expectations and responses.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service. People who want to use the LSM approach. The availability of several free tools in the same place makes Google Analytics a suitable tool for product managers.
Users can get access to insights that only Google can provide thanks to its machine-learning functionality and massive data collection. It can be critical to shortening the development cycle and modifying the properties, quick and effective decisions.
Clicky is a product management tool that allows product managers to “measure, analyze, and respond to their traffic in real-time.” The tool claims to help teams see all attendees and what they did when they visited a website.
It gives templates and alerts you when your site is down to help you resolve issues quickly.
A lean startup is a method for establishing a new company or launching a new product on behalf of an existing company. The lean management method supports developing products that consumers have already revealed a desire for so that a market exists before the product is released.
The lean startup methodology employs valid learning, which could be a method that businesses assess client interest. Lean startup standards can invite a bit of type or early style product to gauge client reaction.