Agile Business Development

Do you ever feel like you are on the edge of chaos? I do, and although my desk is well organized, and I have routine schedule established, I am constantly reminded to plunge into uncertainty. Get your idea out there before it’s ready… leaders write frequently in recent publications.
Trying to make product perfect before it’s released is a thing of the past. Testing live market, re-iterations of business model, adaptive launch is the new normal. In-office market research, co-founders opinions and focus groups will not predict business success – similar to studying past performance of the stock market is not an indication of its future growth.

But releasing of less-than-perfect product and immature business idea is a footprint for failure – you might think… . Not necessarily – in today’s economy risky ideas are here to stay, and sooner or later you will have to play with them.

Business agility is the ability of a business to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently in response to changes in the business environment. Agile business development requires less funds, less resources. Even solo entrepreneur can test it in action, using almost instant online presence, marketing, testing and modification. Once it is clear that ‘something is there…’ to work with, business can be expanded and refined.

Today’s graduates don’t have the same smooth transition to the adult life that baby boomers once had. Completing university degree, especially in liberal arts, does not award almost guaranteed 9-5 job any more. You have to think about many ideas at once, incubate, innovate, be proactive, and try enough times to succeed at some of them.

“Operating in hypercompetitive, continuously changing markets, agile enterprises pursue a series of temporary competitive advantages—capitalizing for a time on the strength of an idea, product, or service then readily discarding it when no longer tenable.” – says Wikipedia.

Almost any area of today’s market is hypercompetitive. Products and services are emerging from evolving changes of other products and services, rather than from completely original idea. It seems like everything has already been invented, yet we are constantly amazed at the rapid progress of technology, medicine, recreation, and whatever else.

Many ‘old style’, long term successful executives would make a decision and stick with it all the way. Give it the time to work… But this can run a business right into the ground. Recently more examples are showing that keenly observing emerging trends and rolling with them for shorter periods of time gives better results.
We are the impatient generation.

In agile development communication, simplicity and feedback are crucial, as is the courage (to tell things as they are in reality). Negotiated contract and following the initially devised plan is replaced with willing customer collaboration and focusing rather on producing a working model than creating an abundant documentation.
This leads us to value based decision making – put your time where your value is. Turning an idea into marketable business asset the agile way looks something like this: Start developing, let customers use it, get evidence quickly, learn, continue developing in the new direction. Repeat. Consensus for a new direction will come from an active group collaboration, where members are picking up on individual working micro-models, rather than following to the letter directions of a superior. Real life customers should be using your product or service while it is being developed. You have customers before you pitch for expansion or traditional distribution channels. Having orders before asking for more funding speaks volumes.

Agile development is very well facilitated by building online properties. It is a quick process that does not require a lot of resources and warrants great flexibility.

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