THINK IN HOURS NOT SPRINTS

WHY SOFTWARE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME

1

Rob Meadows
CEO, Originate
Oct 21, 2013
We partner with start-ups and enterprises
to rapidly build high-quality modern software.

2
Quality Software is Essential to Almost Every Business

“Software is eating the world”
/ Marc Andreessen
“In 3 to 5 years,...
Building Software
Classic Problem: Cheap, Fast, Good. Pick 2.
Fast + Cheap (but it doesn’t work)
or
Fast + Good (but you c...
Building Startup Software
Most competitive market landscape ever for
software startups.
More technology options (noise) th...
Cheaper, Faster, AND Better
Cloud +
Open Source +
Tools +
Methodologies
=
It has never been cheaper or faster
to build hig...
Cloud
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Leverage quality 3rd party applications faster and cheaper
Salesforce, Google Apps, etc...
Open Source
Frameworks
Ruby/Rails, Scala/Play, Python/Django, etc.

User Interface
jQuery, Twitter Bootstrap, etc.

Data/A...
Tools
Advanced tools help save time + risk:
Communication
Create more efficient (faster), global (cheaper) workforce
Skype...
Cloud + Open Source + Tools

So the odds must be in our favor now,
right?

10
Odds of New Startup Success

What is the success rate of software
startups today?

11
Odds of New Startup Success

<10%
12

Steve Blank “Startup Owner’s Manual”
Once you Pivot in Market

And what about if you can bounce back
from a failure in market?

13
Once you Pivot in Market

<15%
14

Steve Blank “Startup Owner’s Manual”
Why Do They Fail?

?
15
Why Do They Fail?

They fail to create a product that people

need and will use

16
Avoiding Failure
Failure is usually catastrophic because there are
no means to recover (money, time, expertise).
Therefore...
Better Methodologies
Identify and eliminate risks earlier in the cycle

Agile
Lean
Real-time Prototyping

18
Agile
Think in weeks.
Plan, build, test, repeat weekly;
Involve real users in testing;
Ability to pivot earlier

Learning ...
Lean
Think in days.
Front-load learning; test before building when
possible (Lean Canvas model).

Identify a problem, gene...
Accelerate Learning

We can (and need to)
increase our rate of learning
by several orders of magnitude

21
Phases of Product Learning
Phase 1 (90%): Does it make sense? Does it feel
right?
Ask: Real problem? Needs solution? What ...
Real-time Prototyping
Think in minutes.
“Minimal Viable Experiments”- a few minutes each;
Hundreds of experiments can be d...
Learning is Not Failing
Experiments don’t fail. They create learning.

24
Minimal Viable Experiments

To get real insights, the medium
must be reality -not in our heads.

25
Paper Prototypes

26
Paper Flows

27
Paper Experiments
1. Draw the UI on stacks of index cards.
2. Let the user “click” somewhere.
3. Replace the card with ano...
Digital Prototypes
1. Convert paper prototypes into digital with tools
like Popapp
2. Create digital mockups with tools li...
Manual Messaging
Use existing channels to “simulate” software
interaction: email, text, IM, etc.
Use a human to act as ser...
Manual Messaging

31
Readme Experiment
1. Write the documentation first. Strictly no coding!
2. Show the documentation to real users
3. Ask the...
And More MVE’s!
There are hundreds of experiments you can come
up with for any software product.
Get creative and think ou...
A 48 Hour Example
2 day immersive workshop with key stakeholders:
- Morning 1: Set real-world context (go do something)
- ...
Recap
- You must be faster, cheaper, AND better to win
the software game.
- This requires being agile and lean, but also
c...
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Originate - Think In Hours Not Sprints

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Why software will never be the same... Discuss why agile and lean development methodologies alone are not enough to compete in today's software startup market. Explore real-time prototyping and minimal viable experiments that can accelerate learning down to hours, not sprints.

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Originate - Think In Hours Not Sprints

  1. 1. THINK IN HOURS NOT SPRINTS WHY SOFTWARE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME 1 Rob Meadows CEO, Originate Oct 21, 2013
  2. 2. We partner with start-ups and enterprises to rapidly build high-quality modern software. 2
  3. 3. Quality Software is Essential to Almost Every Business “Software is eating the world” / Marc Andreessen “In 3 to 5 years, your car will have more lines of code in it than LinkedIn does today” / Reid Hoffman 3
  4. 4. Building Software Classic Problem: Cheap, Fast, Good. Pick 2. Fast + Cheap (but it doesn’t work) or Fast + Good (but you can’t afford it) or Cheap + Good (but you don’t live to see it) 4
  5. 5. Building Startup Software Most competitive market landscape ever for software startups. More technology options (noise) than ever for software startups. Must be cheaper, faster, and better to win. 5
  6. 6. Cheaper, Faster, AND Better Cloud + Open Source + Tools + Methodologies = It has never been cheaper or faster to build high-quality software 6
  7. 7. Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) Leverage quality 3rd party applications faster and cheaper Salesforce, Google Apps, etc. Platform as a Service (PaaS) Deploy and scale applications faster and cheaper Heroku, Azure, Pivotal, etc. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Provision servers, storage, and bandwidth faster and cheaper Amazon Web Services (AWS), Joyent, Rackspace, etc. 7
  8. 8. Open Source Frameworks Ruby/Rails, Scala/Play, Python/Django, etc. User Interface jQuery, Twitter Bootstrap, etc. Data/Analytics MySQL, MongoDB, Hadoop, etc. Utilities Security, integrations, testing, you name it… 8
  9. 9. Tools Advanced tools help save time + risk: Communication Create more efficient (faster), global (cheaper) workforce Skype, Hipchat, Webex, Pivotal Tracker, JIRA, Assembla Analytics Faster reaction to business needs with less risk Google Analytics, Mixpanel, New Relic UX/Prototyping Omnigraffle, Popapp, Invisionapp, FluidUI Dev/DevOps Git(hub), Xcode, continuous integration, code quality, monitoring 9
  10. 10. Cloud + Open Source + Tools So the odds must be in our favor now, right? 10
  11. 11. Odds of New Startup Success What is the success rate of software startups today? 11
  12. 12. Odds of New Startup Success <10% 12 Steve Blank “Startup Owner’s Manual”
  13. 13. Once you Pivot in Market And what about if you can bounce back from a failure in market? 13
  14. 14. Once you Pivot in Market <15% 14 Steve Blank “Startup Owner’s Manual”
  15. 15. Why Do They Fail? ? 15
  16. 16. Why Do They Fail? They fail to create a product that people need and will use 16
  17. 17. Avoiding Failure Failure is usually catastrophic because there are no means to recover (money, time, expertise). Therefore, we need to either fail faster or know more before starting. We must identify and eliminate the risks around what users need and what they will use. 17
  18. 18. Better Methodologies Identify and eliminate risks earlier in the cycle Agile Lean Real-time Prototyping 18
  19. 19. Agile Think in weeks. Plan, build, test, repeat weekly; Involve real users in testing; Ability to pivot earlier Learning happens in sprints/weekly. Not good enough (a week of quality work is not cheap). 19
  20. 20. Lean Think in days. Front-load learning; test before building when possible (Lean Canvas model). Identify a problem, generate idea, de-risk it, build it, test it. Build Problem Solving Products (PSP). Some learning happens daily, but most is weekly. Still not good enough (need fast + cheap + good). 20
  21. 21. Accelerate Learning We can (and need to) increase our rate of learning by several orders of magnitude 21
  22. 22. Phases of Product Learning Phase 1 (90%): Does it make sense? Does it feel right? Ask: Real problem? Needs solution? What solution? Doable? Acceptable? Intuitive? Generalizable? Learn: problem space, user expectations, solutions, UI approaches, modalities, ergonomics Phase 2 (9%): Does it work with real data? Phase 3 (1%): Does it work in real life? 22
  23. 23. Real-time Prototyping Think in minutes. “Minimal Viable Experiments”- a few minutes each; Hundreds of experiments can be done before building any real software. Learning happens several times per hour. 23
  24. 24. Learning is Not Failing Experiments don’t fail. They create learning. 24
  25. 25. Minimal Viable Experiments To get real insights, the medium must be reality -not in our heads. 25
  26. 26. Paper Prototypes 26
  27. 27. Paper Flows 27
  28. 28. Paper Experiments 1. Draw the UI on stacks of index cards. 2. Let the user “click” somewhere. 3. Replace the card with another one that shows the new screen. 4. Observe if the user gets lost or has questions. 5. In the case of feedback, draw a new card in 10 seconds. 6. Results in ergonomic UI’s and workflows 28
  29. 29. Digital Prototypes 1. Convert paper prototypes into digital with tools like Popapp 2. Create digital mockups with tools like OmniGraffle 3. Test on real users 4. Incorporate feedback immediately 5. Use to build working software for specific features (in hours) 6. Test with real data 29
  30. 30. Manual Messaging Use existing channels to “simulate” software interaction: email, text, IM, etc. Use a human to act as server. Do NOT build software that a human can’t first do manually. Test and adjust messaging and flow until it is intuitive to real users 30
  31. 31. Manual Messaging 31
  32. 32. Readme Experiment 1. Write the documentation first. Strictly no coding! 2. Show the documentation to real users 3. Ask them: If/how they would use it What part of it they would not use What value it would have to them What else is missing 4. Change the documentation until it describes the perfect software 5. Use Agile/Lean to build PSP 32
  33. 33. And More MVE’s! There are hundreds of experiments you can come up with for any software product. Get creative and think outside the domain; start with experiments that don’t require coding. Remember, there is no such thing as a failed experiment! 33
  34. 34. A 48 Hour Example 2 day immersive workshop with key stakeholders: - Morning 1: Set real-world context (go do something) - Fill whiteboard with problems and ideas - Prove/disprove assumptions for each idea/solution through rapid experiments - Build first working prototype by lunch and test in realworld - Refine ideas and experiments; build second prototype overnight - Day 2: Test, refine, test, refine… in real world - Hour 48: complete working prototype 34
  35. 35. Recap - You must be faster, cheaper, AND better to win the software game. - This requires being agile and lean, but also creating real-time prototypes/experiments. - Learning is not failing; push learning up-front where it is cheaper/faster. - Start thinking in minutes: an hour is the new week. 35

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