Implementing the Lean Flow innovation and delivery ecosystem

Creating fast, flexible flow by achieving enterprise agility

Enterprise Agility is the ability to rapidly respond to changing customer and market conditions in order to seize and maintain competitive advantage. Savvy leaders today understand they should prioritize the building of enterprise-wide innovation and value-delivery ecosystems that adjust quickly to customer expectations in order to fill their unmet wants, needs, and desires to stay ahead of their competition. Achieving enterprise agility better prepares an organization to find opportunities to take advantage of disruptive change to rapidly create customer, stakeholder, and company value.

The Lean Flow ecosystem

Lean Flow is an end-to-end innovation and value delivery ecosystem based on a customer-centric approach that combines a product + platform operating model with Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) capabilities and a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) delivery engine, all acutely focused on creating fast, flexible flow across the enterprise, in response to disruptive change. Its objective is to give leaders the ability to rapidly identify and build the smallest viable pieces of a product possible, in order to respond to changing customer and market conditions.

MVPs are released out to the market in an iterative and incremental fashion, designed to result in value generation and realization. Releasing MVPs can also encourage rapid customer feedback and product analytics that can be used to improve the product with each subsequent release.

Overall, it is a holistic approach that requires business and technology leaders to work together to define and build viable products. The model is supported by operations that fully embrace agility in the pursuit of creating and delivering customer, company, and stakeholder value.

Here’s how the ecosystem works:

  • It all starts with an idea that through the use of an ideation engine that exploits Design Thinking and Lean Startup methods, a working prototype is built.
    1. If the prototype isn’t viable, it’s placed into the “ideation backlog” to revisit later.
    2. If it is viable, it moves into the intake funnel, reviewed for strategic fit, and an initial prioritization is determined.
  • If the idea is approved and deemed worthy of investment dollars, the product manager develops or updates the product’s vision, mission, and value proposition.
  • The product manager then creates the detailed requirements, known as epics, and prioritizes and determines its placement on the product’s strategic roadmap.
  • The epic is then moved to the product portfolio backlog to await development.
  • Once capacity frees up, it goes through release planning and is placed on the MVP release plan, which determines when and how it will be developed by the Agile DevOps delivery engine.
  • Finally, it’s built and tested, using componentization, microservices, and automated processes (DevOps) that live in the cloud. When finished, it’s pushed out to the market in the form of an MVP feature set. It’s the responsibility of the development team to ensure that any issues are promptly addressed and corrected.

Following release, customer feedback and product analytics are collected and fed back into the system to ensure it is continuously improved upon throughout the life of the product. Through the use of a queuing system, the product portfolio manager tracks exactly where the idea is in the development process, as it moves across the Lean Flow Ecosystem.

The Lean Flow innovation and value delivery ecosystem

The success of this ecosystem is heavily dependent on the use of a customer-centric, product-focused operating model. The model has the ability to quickly respond to changing market conditions by enabling fast, flexible workflow across the entire enterprise. This operating model should enable the organization to focus on unmet customer wants in short, iterative, and incremental development cycles that quickly respond to and adjust for changing customer demands.

It’s a holistic approach that requires business and technology leaders to work together to define and build viable products. The model is supported by operations that fully embrace agility in the pursuit of creating and delivering customer, company, and stakeholder value.

Lean Flow to enterprise agility

Benefits of Lean Flow

The benefits of Lean Flow materialize when you open the channels of customer collaboration to create a holistic organization focused on accomplishing one goal—delivering customer-centric value. By embracing Lean Flow, leaders can reap organizational, operational, and behavioral benefits.

Our approach

Changing the way a company organizes, operates, and behaves requires a disciplined and structured approach that’s iterative and incremental. Change incorporates feedback and analytics from each phase into the next to ensure you’re learning and adapting to your unique situation, environment, and circumstances. The journey to agility is not a one-size-fits-all process.

In order to implement the Lean Flow Ecosystem, we employ our Enterprise Agility framework, which consists of four phases focused on creating and enabling enterprise agility.

  • First, the organization mobilizes to prepare for changes in the way it organizes, operates, and behaves.
  • Then the approach is refined systematically through experimentation.
  • The next phase creates the adaptive organization by scaling and transforming the ecosystem using a practical and tested Lean, Agile, and DevOps approach.

As you move through each stage in your transformation journey, you can acquire the building blocks to advance to the next, providing a seamless transition from one phase to another. Like a great book, each chapter builds upon the prior ones to tell your organizational, operational, and behavioral change story.

Achieving enterprise agility

Lean Flow is about embracing agility across the enterprise to create responsive organizations that can quickly adjust to and exploit changing market conditions. It’s urgent that leaders drive change so that their organizations can solve business problems and produce products that generate customer, business, and stakeholder value. But putting the customer first requires leaders to make a commitment to substantially change how their companies organize, operate, and behave. That means they must be engaged and focused on creating and delivering value through the use of a product operating model, LPM capabilities, and MVP Agile and DevOps delivery engine that are all supported and enabled by the enterprise’s deep systems, such as Human Resources, Legal, Finance and Accounting, etc.

In today’s competitive global economy and disruptive business climate, Lean Flow achieves enterprise agility across the organization, which can help you exploit disruptive change for competitive advantage and provide your organization with the opportunity to preserve and grow its relevance in the marketplace.

Achieving enterprise agility by building and implementing the Lean Flow ecosystem has a beginning, but no end. It’s a never-ending journey that becomes a way of being. It integrates learning and feedback into the continuous evolution of your company, its products, and workforce to create greater and greater levels of value—for your customers, the company, and its stakeholders alike.

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