Lean Inception After the First Iteration

This is the fifth and final article in a series of articles about Lean Inception. Be sure to check them all out.

So, you’ve read up on Lean Inception, applied our Lessons Learned, and successfully created your first two iteration canvases. What’s next? Are you done with Lean Inception until the next project? We took some time after completing our first iteration to check in on our team’s Lean Inception, how it helped with delivery, and how it fit with our next steps.

Clarity of Vision

A clear vision helps teams come together to better deliver positive outcomes.

Overall, by using Lean Inception, our team had a better understanding of the vision and goals of the project. While some of our understanding of the product changed during development, in general we felt confident that we produced a product in the first iteration that would allow us to test the initial hypothesis.

When asked about the most beneficial parts of Lean Inception, the consensus among the team members was that we had developed both a shared understanding and lexicon for the product. The team also felt that the output of Lean Inception allowed us to focus on effective features and priorities out of the gate rather than wasting time on low-priority work.

Be Prepared to Repeat Over Time

When we finished the first iteration, we realized that our vision for the second iteration no longer felt accurate; we no longer needed, nor had time for, a full repetition of the Lean Inception week.  Instead, we took a single afternoon and reviewed our key artifacts from the first round. We updated our personas, reviewed the user journey, identified where new features could be inserted, updated our goals and outcomes, and redid the Iteration 2 Canvas to target our next hypothesis. With just a little extra work our team was able to create a backlog for our next sprint and target complex problems that needed more work upfront.

We highly recommend this approach for other teams. Not only did it give our team a moment of pause and reflection, but it helped to align our roadmap going forward. We are now prepared to deliver against stakeholder expectations, keeping aligned as we go forward.

Would Recommend

Overall, the process of Lean Inception was challenging. While running it for the first time was not entirely smooth, we saw tangible value—enough that when it came time to plan the second iteration the team jumped on board for an afternoon of discussion and collaboration without hesitation. By continuing to refresh our artifacts from time to time we expect to be able to move our project forward with a collaborative team that feels agency and ownership as well as a heightened level of transparency with our stakeholders.

Have questions about running your first Lean Inception?  Feel free to reach out to us to help: info@focisolutions.com.