What Does the Lean Startup Methodology Actually Look Like in Practice?
There is now a way to engineer and measure startup success. The knowledge is teachable. Instead of facing uncertainty with your new venture, you’ll be able to know the exact steps to take.
You can place a method and process around the development of your product ideas.
This Lean Startup methodology makes you work smarter, not harder. It gives you the safety of addressing new products with knowledge. This article shares Lean Startup steps that convert action efforts into success.
1. Develop a Minimum Viable Product
The Lean Startup methodology is ideal for new business owners that want to reduce their risk. The process determines what product to launch while protecting business ownership. The key is using Lean Startup in tandem with the Five Whys methodology.
The first step is defining a problem that needs a solution. Then develop and establish a minimum viable product (MVP). This must include actionable metrics to follow cause and effect.
Use the Five Whys to investigate and solve problems on this journey. Make adjustments to either the product or the business model throughout the exploration. The goal is to learn the ins and outs of developing product and business strategies.
2. Develop a Market
Your customers, or lack of customers, can make you or break you. Research their needs and potential solutions that they’d consider. Get as many direct responses as possible.
Also, create a pre-sale offer and ask those who sign up why they signed up now. The responses will help you contour your offer and product to what works. You can do this before building the actual product.
There is another way to find and test the market. You can start a waiting list or Kickstarter campaign. This allows you to sell the product in increments that reduce risk and expenses.
If you can’t pre-sell the product to early adopters, you have to reassess the product and campaign.
3. Build the Product
Steps 3, 4, and 5 and more specific to Lean Startup methodology. Author Eric Ries introduced the process in his book “The Lean Startup.” The idea is to loop several times through build, measure, and learn.
Ries recommends asking, “Should this product be built” instead of “can it be built?” He also recommends asking, “Can we build a sustainable business around this product or service?” These questions are vital during the MVP’s development.
4. Measure Product Results
Create your MVP and trial it with your customer segments. Capture the measurable results and learn how to improve the product. Collect the feedback for the next step.
5. Learn from Feedback and Data
Use the data gained from the previous step to determine if you have a viable product. This will also allow you to determine how to adjust the business model for growth. Then it’s time to loop back through the build, measure, and learn stages again.
Keep in mind that with each loop is the opportunity to get closer to what the customer needs in your product. This ability to check in with your customers will confirm your learning process.
Lean Startup Methodology
The Lean Six Sigma Company is at the heart of the Lean Startup methodology. Their process starts with defining the problem. It also makes sense to explore and define the primary customer.
At this point, it is important to cycle through the build, measure, and learn stages. By implementing the improvements learned, your product becomes viable. This can also lead to a family of successful products.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out our other blog posts in related areas.