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A universal plan that always works

Updated: Jun 3, 2018

Since we can’t predict anything in detail reliably, we can make a rough list of achievements. It is a generic plan and looks like this.

Make 1 feature

Make 2nd feature


Make 1 integrated product

Make 1 satisfied user

Make 5 satisfied users

Make 10 satisfied users

Make 100 satisfied customers

Make 1 satisfied paying customer

Make 10 satisfied paying customer

Make 100 satisfied paying customers

For a hardware project, a feature can be the casing, or a hinge, or the weight, the size. Any product characteristic needs to be verified and integrated. It can be a few mock-ups, as long as it gives you a rich, as real as possible, experience to judge. In the beginning, it is normal to have a prototype showing the display performance, another prototype to show the case, one to show the UI, etc. Integration of it all, one by one, is just another item on the to do-list. Be keen on what kind of feedback to tackle first. I have had people trying the surfer's trash bag on shore and doing all sorts of non-surfing movements with it. The only thing I say is: "Go surf with it, see if it works under those circumstances, it is not meant to be worn when you do your yoga." So if you develop a mobile device to carry in your pocket and use it in public transportation. Go there, do it for real. You will find the next issue to tackle. Feature by feature, benefit by benefit.

For software, you can make a real product immediately. Why not? Don’t make a prototype in a platform you won’t benefit from later. The only reason to make a prototype is if you can do it in 10 minutes. If you can make the real thing, do it, start small scale, low impact and grow. If you don't know how to start, do a benchmark/brainstorm cycle of 10-15 minutes and pick the best ideas to implement in cycles of 1 hour. Split it up in components valuable to end-users, not in activities. Let the scale of the infrastructure follow your end deliverables. Don't start with infrastructure. So, if you want to a new web shop, don't start with the end state in mind. Proof that you can sell products, or just 1 product even. Move on from there and scale up infrastructure and organisation when the .

For service development, you can do it for real too. Define a time box when you try to execute the service. For example: Let’s try to apply service customers in this new way, just for the coming 1 hour and improve. So, for example in a hair salon, let’s try out the new customer service ideas the coming hour and evaluate. Or let’s try the new menu just for 2 tables. Or just between 14.00 and 16.00.

For a song, you can start with a chorus, or a verse or a line, include top line melody, chords and lyrics. All based on your bigger dream you have for the song. Once you have a song, play it, practise it, rehearse it before you play it for an audience. Same thing for a service, rehearse it first, before you do it for your customers.

For a super adaptive implementation, commit to doing this for a few days, for a few weeks, preferably 4 wks with 3 days per week. Since we start with delivering as real as possible stuff immediately, we already have deliverables after the first round or at least after the first day. Planning becomes less important. Before you have made a detailed planning, we already have the product finished, or at least some of its crucial features.

Remember, Super adaptive shortens everything with 4-8 times. So if you are used to do something in 2 months. Now, you can do it in 2-3 weeks. The only thing you need to do is: get an end-to-end team together that can ship, get your stakeholders involved, do short cycles on fixed days, preferably 3 days per week. Then, ship real stuff, verify it continuously and improve one thing at a time. Go from 1 satisfied user to 10, to 20, to 100 etc.

How about other on-going work outside of Super adaptive? Your management needs to realise that your working hours are your working hours. The idea is that you do Super adaptive on the highest priority, this automatically means that the rest is of a lower priority. Do those in the remaining time and limit that to that time. Involve your management for support and to inform others about this.


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