Silver Streak Partners LLC
Articles and Briefings
Flexible Product Development workshops in Mumbai and Delhi. Explore new ideas to make your product development more competitive.
Agile Product Development. Support innovation in fast-changing markets by principles from the Agile software movement. (Executive Briefing)
Dealing with mid-project changes. Rather than trying to avoid mid-project changes, reduce their cost. (published in Machine Design, March 2011)
Avoid 11-th hour project dilemmas by preparing for change. Flexible Development principles help to avoid the costly dilemma to do it wrong or do it over. (published in Visions, December 2010)
Unlike traditional phase-gate processes that resist change, Flexible Product Development embraces mid-project change to support innovation and market dexterity at minimal cost.
The common approach to product development holds that mid-project change is wasteful, and that extensive upfront planning can eliminate the need for change. Not in today's business environment.
Processes that resist change are toxic to innovation and cripple market dexterity. In a recent IBM report, CEOs around the globe say they are focused on improving their firms' dexterity to respond in a complex and fast moving economy. Today, according to the report, "Organizations unprepared to act immediately on new opportunities may watch them slip away from their grasp almost as quickly as they emerge.” Processes such as phase-gate, developed in yesterday's business environment, are no longer competitive.
What is Flexible Product Development?
Pioneered by Preston Smith, FPD is a new approach to developing products that embraces mid-project change, rather than resisting it. By rejecting the pretense that upfront planning can eliminate change, designers are free to anticipate and plan for uncertainties, greatly reducing their impact on cost and schedule.
FPD is a set of tools and methods that cope effectively with—and even embrace—mid-project changes. Based on ideas and experience from a variety of sources, including the agile software development movement, FPD reduces the cost of midstream changes and balances the benefits of change against the risk of ballooning budgets and slippery schedules. FPD principles include:
Doesn't Flexibility Cost Too Much?
The "plan your work and work your plan" mentality is so strongly ingrained in management thinking that it obscures the true costs and benefits of FPD. Three major blind spots are:
Where can I learn more?
Contact me to ask about an onsite or public workshop on FPD.
Take a look at a recent workshop in Mumbai and Delhi.
Read a recent whitepaper by Preston Smith and me.
Preston's website is a good source of information and ideas and has a link to his new book.
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