From Iron to Cloud – Customer Driven Innovation [Series 2/5]

Customer Driven Innovation: A Global Perspective

Changing iron by using the cloud

Growers (Matt rarely called his customers “farmers”) are a uniquely tenacious and optimistic group. They have to be risk takers too, so many out-of-their-control environmental factors impact outcomes.  You might never guess that this group is well set to innovate/change how they farm.

The head of  Product Management explained that today’s growers, in order to feed the many billion of us, must find ways to limit their risk and increase their yield. They’ve already teased out most of their farming costs from fuel (which impacts feed, fertilizer and other necessary items on the farm). More was needed to be done – there are hungry people to feed.

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Stuckness – Getting Unstuck by Thinking Agile

I create my own sticking points …found my own fingerprints all over the crime scene. I have no clue how I’ve been so uniquely blessed with this ability to hog-tie myself without ever catching on that I’m doing the tying again. – David A Schmaltz, Pure Schmaltz


Think of it as the superglue of life, or the Georgia clay of hikers and gardeners. Whatever it is, Stuckness bonds us to what we know and experienced. Isn’t that good?

Yes and No 

Depends upon the outcome. What do you do when you are in Stuckness? Do you stop as in “deer in the headlights” – do you flail and are now going under!

Do you instead settle your adrenaline and think through the challenges, see the common elements, compare them with your former successes? (thanks Seth)

Stuckness is a good place, a teaching place. It’s a place to ponder, to look for other paths and decide which to take.Yet, Stuckness is current and also rooted in the past. To move forward and away from Stuckness, be aware of obstacles in your view, such as always taking the “logical” approach.

Sometimes that  wee voice of your intuition should be heard.


Strategic MVP and Iterations

Each strategic project is a set of related user stories – Liz Rice, MindTheProduct

The lively discussion continues around exactly how strategic is Agile if you constantly run short Sprints. Doesn’t it take longer to be strategic?

Actually no…The two concepts (Agile & Strategic) are not mutually exclusive! I read a very interesting article this weekend by Liz Rice who outlines exactly HOW to do this. She’s keen on being realistic and keeping on track.

Liz advocates using a roadmap and planning to prioritize User Stories needed to build the MVP, keeping in mind that it is best to not bog down in details. Plan for the predictable things and get buy-in from your development teams. We all know priorties can and will change, that’s what Agile does so well. Don’t sweat the small stuff but remember if you don’t consciously integrate critical MVP “must have” features into the Quarterly Plan you’ll be forever dealing only with short-term and “urgent” requests.

And that’s no way to develop world class software.

Essence of the Main Thing

The main thing

is keeping the main thing

the main thing

A product launch begins when *everyone* involved can say what truly makes your product outstanding and awesome.

No, that’s not a typo.

I didn’t mean “product launch ends” – because if you begin developing product without clarity on this, no telling when you’ll launch.  Or what will launch.  Or who you should be launching to…