MVP

Image result for MVP

Something interesting happened last week.

I was designing a new project with a friend. The project had much potential and I wanted to test the idea with 10 customers by building a minimum viable product (MVP) . The idea of a MVP is not to go in to full spec product, but putting your immediate effort to create a very basic version of the product, that would get the the thing done, for now.

I whatsapped my friend ” Hey, we need to have a MVP fast”

He replied “of course”

Then in the evening when we met I asked him, “so what is your MVP”

“errh..we need to find him or her from the team right?”

“What? I am asking you about Minimum Viable Product

“Oh, sorry, I thought you meant Most Valuable Player

(I have forgotten 2 things:

  1. That I should not use abbreviations, because you know, as you can see, it’s confusing.
  2. I also have forgotten that my friend is a basket ball fanatic. )

We had a very long laugh. The meeting was productive and we came up with a minimum viable product.

Then during this weekend when I reflected on this humorous coincidence, I figured there’s actually a connection between minimum viable product and most valuable player. 

Think about members in your team, workplace.

How many of them are capable of coming up with workable versions of what is needed. When others need 2 weeks, this person comes up with a solution in half a day ?

I bet you have met people like them in your companies and outside.

They are the most valuable players in your team who comes up with the minimum viable product. ( This is now becoming cliche: The MVP who comes up with MVP !! ) 

Seriously though, I have found in my career as a business consultant, these MVP’s have a hard time convincing their bosses they are good at what they do.

The reason is bosses are obsessed with crazy big ideas that take months to implement, and requires lot of resources, hoping that it would land them recognition from the board. Those big projects are of course needed for companies to grow , no doubt.

But the issue is in pursuit of those audacious goals, bosses have forgotten the value of their MVPs. These are the people who love a challenge and want the teams to succeed, not just him/her self. They take the brunt of the company and deliver. They rarely get appreciated. Yet their incremental improvements are the ones that hold the business together.

Why not you reflect on this in your weekend? Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment below. Let’s find our MVPs and appreciate them.

 

 

Respect time.

Though many say “time is money”, time in organisations is not actually treated in the way we treat money.

Organisations in meeting rooms waste hundreds or hours in few hours.

I was recently at a meeting with 25 people for 2 hours. That is 50 man hours. What we achieved ? – confusion and boredom. Only one decision was taken. That could have easily achieved through one email.

Many want consensus in decision making. It’s all good. But we simply forget how difficult to get consensus even between 2 people. Try deciding what movie to watch with your spouse, if you think consensus is easy.

Rather, focus on what people want. Ask questions, and be ready to accept answers as they are. Be bold to be surprised and vulnerable. Think “there’s always a better way to do things, even routine activities”. Then act differently. Courage to act after getting that feedback is the loop that keeps you improving.

To get feedback, you don’t need meetings. Feedback can happen in your way to the water dispenser, with the right question. Sometimes humans are relaxed and more responsive when they are standing on their feet. You don’t need to have an answer. But you need to have the mind space to accept the response to your question.

Save meetings. Save time.

A leader’s dilemma on team building

dilemma

We want teams to explore opportunities, yet we celebrate speedy delivery.

We advise people to think as a ‘group’ but treat ‘group think’ as a cancer in the organisation culture.

We want self motivated, initiative taking teams, but at the same time fear uncontrolled outcomes they bring in.

We want people to meet, discuss and make collaborative decisions, when in fact that decision could have been made by just one person, saving hours of meeting time.

Are we walking the talk ?