Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How Far is Far Enough for A Lean HR Product?

Better is the enemy of done. I heard that saying about a decade ago from a business development executive. I was the senior product development guy and he wanted me to hurry up. I didn’t. We had a great product release too, I might add.
But now that I have gained experience and respect for the Lean Start Up strategy, I think about that sentence differently than I used to. I am beginning to realize that customer reaction to your product may be the best way to (eventually) get it right. But how much “not yet right” is too much?

I was very comfortable with our Minimum Viable Product release. It did about 50% of what the production release will do, but the test customers knew that, and the things it didn’t do did not distract from the basic customer experience. I felt good about that.

But now Release 1.0 is going out the end of this month (IT-Gods Willing) and I feel like a teenager on prom night: All I can see are the pimples.

I asked this question of my advisory team. They said it has to be measured by the customer experience. The product has to be good-enough for the customer. I liked that answer, but it doesn’t fully work. Most features are (or should be) oriented toward the best customer experience possible. So when I look at the recruiter dashboard and think it needs to have data displayed more clearly, does Lean SU suggest I let that go and see what the customer thinks. Maybe. It depends.

I am comfortable with our first product. But I stay awake thinking about that last pimple.