Showing posts from July, 2014

Implementing Product Development Methodologies across Cultures and Organizations

Implementing Product Development Methodologies across Cultures and Organizations After experience at trying to bring various methodologies and ways of approaching product development to different types of organizations in different countries, and often not succeeding as well as I would like, I thought I would attempt at finding some explanations. I currently think of 3 dimensions that are the most important in terms of how they impact a generic methodology or approach. This is not an exhaustive list, however, after much thought these are what I feel are the key contributors to success or failure of putting an effective methodology or approach in place within an organization.  Communication The way that people communicate within the organization or team significantly affects the process of product or service development. Different cultures communicate in different ways, some more "open" others more "closed". Some "hierarchical" others less so.

Agile and Lean thinking in Japan

I have just returned from Japan, where I was involved in leading a workshop on Agile and Lean thinking. Being back in the UK, I am reflecting on how things went, what worked and what did not. The whole experience proved to be much more difficult than I could have imagined. Japanese culture does not seem to be compatible with Lean or Agile approaches. Consensus is always needed Time spent on a problem is the primary indicator of effort and success All expressions of ideas need to be well thought out (brainstorming is not natural)  It is natural to delay the commitment of an idea or an approach, so decision making is delayed to the last moment These observations are in total contrast to the Agile or Lean approaches, which value "efficient communication", "lists", "brainstorming" and rapid decision making.  This is probably why these Technics have not much of an adoption in the Japanese business world. If I were to revisit this market, in terms