Random Acts of Product Development
We like the title Random Acts of Product Development. It often appears that product development is a collection of ill-conceived and poorly executed tasks. Those planning refuse to recognize dependencies between groups and tasks and are unable or unwilling to acknowledge they are really working within a system – blinded by the solely important launch date. In fact, I have heard “it is best not to recognize dependencies” explicitly stated in a planning meet for a project. Those making the plan may not know the reason for the task nor what constitutes “good quality” for that delivery, no fault of their own. It is not possible to know the reason for all the individual tasks and their respective objectives of each of those tasks. The total product development process varies from company to company (though there are key core attributes). Additionally, projects by definition have considerable variation due to team composition and risk encountered to which they must respond.
One way to solve this is to make sure the team has a strong detailed view of their portion of the execution or tasks. In addition to that, the team members must know the dependencies between their part (tasks) and the prior and post tasks (Supplier-Input-Process-Output-Customer) . In other words, our people (or some subset of our people) must have knowledge of the organization as a system. We will write more on this topic in subsequent blogs.