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Sean Bloomfield

Sean Bloomfield

1 year ago

How Jeff Bezos wins meetings over

More on Leadership

Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

1 year ago

Improving collaboration with the Six Thinking Hats

Six Thinking Hats was written by Dr. Edward de Bono. "Six Thinking Hats" and parallel thinking allow groups to plan thinking processes in a detailed and cohesive way, improving collaboration.

Fundamental ideas

In order to develop strategies for thinking about specific issues, the method assumes that the human brain thinks in a variety of ways that can be intentionally challenged. De Bono identifies six brain-challenging directions. In each direction, the brain brings certain issues into conscious thought (e.g. gut instinct, pessimistic judgement, neutral facts). Some may find wearing hats unnatural, uncomfortable, or counterproductive.

The example of "mismatch" sensitivity is compelling. In the natural world, something out of the ordinary may be dangerous. This mode causes negative judgment and critical thinking.

Colored hats represent each direction. Putting on a colored hat symbolizes changing direction, either literally or metaphorically. De Bono first used this metaphor in his 1971 book "Lateral Thinking for Management" to describe a brainstorming framework. These metaphors allow more complete and elaborate thought separation. Six thinking hats indicate ideas' problems and solutions.

Similarly, his CoRT Thinking Programme introduced "The Five Stages of Thinking" method in 1973.

HATOVERVIEWTECHNIQUE
BLUE"The Big Picture" & ManagingCAF (Consider All Factors); FIP (First Important Priorities)
WHITE"Facts & Information"Information
RED"Feelings & Emotions"Emotions and Ego
BLACK"Negative"PMI (Plus, Minus, Interesting); Evaluation
YELLOW"Positive"PMI
GREEN"New Ideas"Concept Challenge; Yes, No, Po

Strategies and programs

After identifying the six thinking modes, programs can be created. These are groups of hats that encompass and structure the thinking process. Several of these are included in the materials for franchised six hats training, but they must often be adapted. Programs are often "emergent," meaning the group plans the first few hats and the facilitator decides what to do next.

The group agrees on how to think, then thinks, then evaluates the results and decides what to do next. Individuals or groups can use sequences (and indeed hats). Each hat is typically used for 2 minutes at a time, although an extended white hat session is common at the start of a process to get everyone on the same page. The red hat is recommended to be used for a very short period to get a visceral gut reaction – about 30 seconds, and in practice often takes the form of dot-voting.

ACTIVITYHAT SEQUENCE
Initial IdeasBlue, White, Green, Blue
Choosing between alternativesBlue, White, (Green), Yellow, Black, Red, Blue
Identifying SolutionsBlue, White, Black, Green, Blue
Quick FeedbackBlue, Black, Green, Blue
Strategic PlanningBlue, Yellow, Black, White, Blue, Green, Blue
Process ImprovementBlue, White, White (Other People's Views), Yellow, Black, Green, Red, Blue
Solving ProblemsBlue, White, Green, Red, Yellow, Black, Green, Blue
Performance ReviewBlue, Red, White, Yellow, Black, Green, Blue

Use

Speedo's swimsuit designers reportedly used the six thinking hats. "They used the "Six Thinking Hats" method to brainstorm, with a green hat for creative ideas and a black one for feasibility.

Typically, a project begins with extensive white hat research. Each hat is used for a few minutes at a time, except the red hat, which is limited to 30 seconds to ensure an instinctive gut reaction, not judgement. According to Malcolm Gladwell's "blink" theory, this pace improves thinking.

De Bono believed that the key to a successful Six Thinking Hats session was focusing the discussion on a particular approach. A meeting may be called to review and solve a problem. The Six Thinking Hats method can be used in sequence to explore the problem, develop a set of solutions, and choose a solution through critical examination.

Everyone may don the Blue hat to discuss the meeting's goals and objectives. The discussion may then shift to Red hat thinking to gather opinions and reactions. This phase may also be used to determine who will be affected by the problem and/or solutions. The discussion may then shift to the (Yellow then) Green hat to generate solutions and ideas. The discussion may move from White hat thinking to Black hat thinking to develop solution set criticisms.

Because everyone is focused on one approach at a time, the group is more collaborative than if one person is reacting emotionally (Red hat), another is trying to be objective (White hat), and another is critical of the points which emerge from the discussion (Black hat). The hats help people approach problems from different angles and highlight problem-solving flaws.

KonstantinDr

KonstantinDr

1 year ago

Early Adopters And the Fifth Reason WHY

Product management wizardry.

Product management

Early adopters buy a product even if it hasn't hit the market or has flaws.

Who are the early adopters?

Early adopters try a new technology or product first. Early adopters are interested in trying or buying new technologies and products before others. They're risk-tolerant and can provide initial cash flow and product reviews. They help a company's new product or technology gain social proof.

Early adopters are most common in the technology industry, but they're in every industry. They don't follow the crowd. They seek innovation and report product flaws before mass production. If the product works well, the first users become loyal customers, and colleagues value their opinion.

What to do with early adopters?

They can be used to collect feedback and initial product promotion, first sales, and product value validation.

How to find early followers?

Start with your immediate environment and target audience. Communicate with them to see if they're interested in your value proposition.

1) Innovators (2.5% of the population) are risk-takers seeking novelty. These people are the first to buy new and trendy items and drive social innovation. However, these people are usually elite;

Early adopters (13.5%) are inclined to accept innovations but are more cautious than innovators; they start using novelties when innovators or famous people do;

3) The early majority (34%) is conservative; they start using new products when many people have mastered them. When the early majority accepted the innovation, it became ingrained in people's minds.

4) Attracting 34% of the population later means the novelty has become a mass-market product. Innovators are using newer products;

5) Laggards (16%) are the most conservative, usually elderly people who use the same products.

Stages of new information acceptance

1. The information is strange and rejected by most. Accepted only by innovators;

2. When early adopters join, more people believe it's not so bad; when a critical mass is reached, the novelty becomes fashionable and most people use it.

3. Fascination with a novelty peaks, then declines; the majority and laggards start using it later; novelty becomes obsolete; innovators master something new.

Problems with early implementation

Early adopter sales have disadvantages.

Higher risk of defects

Selling to first-time users increases the risk of defects. Early adopters are often influential, so this can affect the brand's and its products' long-term perception.

Not what was expected

First-time buyers may be disappointed by the product. Marketing messages can mislead consumers, and if the first users believe the company misrepresented the product, this will affect future sales.

Compatibility issues

Some technological advances cause compatibility issues. Consumers may be disappointed if new technology is incompatible with their electronics.

Method 5 WHY

Let's talk about 5 why, a good tool for finding project problems' root causes. This method is also known as the five why rule, method, or questions.

The 5 why technique came from Toyota's lean manufacturing and helps quickly determine a problem's root cause.

On one, two, and three, you simply do this:

  1. We identify and frame the issue for which a solution is sought.

  2. We frequently ponder this question. The first 2-3 responses are frequently very dull, making you want to give up on this pointless exercise. However, after that, things get interesting. And occasionally it's so fascinating that you question whether you really needed to know.

  3. We consider the final response, ponder it, and choose a course of action.

Always do the 5 whys with the customer or team to have a reasonable discussion and better understand what's happening.

And the “five whys” is a wonderful and simplest tool for introspection. With the accumulated practice, it is used almost automatically in any situation like “I can’t force myself to work, the mood is bad in the morning” or “why did I decide that I have no life without this food processor for 20,000 rubles, which will take half of my rather big kitchen.”

An illustration of the five whys

A simple, but real example from my work practice that I think is very indicative, given the participants' low IT skills.  Anonymized, of course.

Users spend too long looking for tender documents.

Why? Because they must search through many company tender documents.

Why? Because the system can't filter department-specific bids.

Why? Because our contract management system requirements didn't include a department-tender link. That's it, right? We'll add a filter and be happy. but still…

why? Because we based the system's requirements on regulations for working with paper tender documents (when they still had envelopes and autopsies), not electronic ones, and there was no search mechanism.

Why? We didn't consider how our work would change when switching from paper to electronic tenders when drafting the requirements.

Now I know what to do in the future. We add a filter, enter department data, and teach users to use it. This is tactical, but strategically we review the same forgotten requirements to make all the necessary changes in a package, plus we include it in the checklist for the acceptance of final requirements for the future.

Errors when using 5 why

Five whys seems simple, but it can be misused.

Popular ones:

  1. The accusation of everyone and everything is then introduced. After all, the 5 why method focuses on identifying the underlying causes rather than criticizing others. As a result, at the third step, it is not a good idea to conclude that the system is ineffective because users are stupid and that we can therefore do nothing about it.

  2. to fight with all my might so that the outcome would be exactly 5 reasons, neither more nor less. 5 questions is a typical number (it sounds nice, yes), but there could be 3 or 7 in actuality.

  3. Do not capture in-between responses. It is difficult to overestimate the power of the written or printed word, so the result is so-so when the focus is lost. That's it, I suppose. Simple, quick, and brilliant, like other project management tools.

Conclusion

Today we analyzed important study elements:

Early adopters and 5 WHY We've analyzed cases and live examples of how these methods help with product research and growth point identification. Next, consider the HADI cycle.

Thank you for your attention ❤️
Caspar Mahoney

Caspar Mahoney

1 year ago

Changing Your Mindset From a Project to a Product

Product game mindsets? How do these vary from Project mindset?

1950s spawned the Iron Triangle. Project people everywhere know and live by it. In stakeholder meetings, it is used to stretch the timeframe, request additional money, or reduce scope.

Quality was added to this triangle as things matured.

Credit: Peter Morville — https://www.flickr.com/photos/morville/40648134582

Quality was intended to be transformative, but none of these principles addressed why we conduct projects.

Value and benefits are key.

Product value is quantified by ROI, revenue, profit, savings, or other metrics. For me, every project or product delivery is about value.

Most project managers, especially those schooled 5-10 years or more ago (thousands working in huge corporations worldwide), understand the world in terms of the iron triangle. What does that imply? They worry about:

a) enough time to get the thing done.

b) have enough resources (budget) to get the thing done.

c) have enough scope to fit within (a) and (b) >> note, they never have too little scope, not that I have ever seen! although, theoretically, this could happen.

Boom—iron triangle.

To make the triangle function, project managers will utilize formal governance (Steering) to move those things. Increase money, scope, or both if time is short. Lacking funds? Increase time, scope, or both.

In current product development, shifting each item considerably may not yield value/benefit.

Even terrible. This approach will fail because it deprioritizes Value/Benefit by focusing the major stakeholders (Steering participants) and delivery team(s) on Time, Scope, and Budget restrictions.

Pre-agile, this problem was terrible. IT projects failed wildly. History is here.

Value, or benefit, is central to the product method. Product managers spend most of their time planning value-delivery paths.

Product people consider risk, schedules, scope, and budget, but value comes first. Let me illustrate.

Imagine managing internal products in an enterprise. Your core customer team needs a rapid text record of a chat to fix a problem. The consumer wants a feature/features added to a product you're producing because they think it's the greatest spot.

Project-minded, I may say;

Ok, I have budget as this is an existing project, due to run for a year. This is a new requirement to add to the features we’re already building. I think I can keep the deadline, and include this scope, as it sounds related to the feature set we’re building to give the desired result”.

This attitude repeats Scope, Time, and Budget.

Since it meets those standards, a project manager will likely approve it. If they have a backlog, they may add it and start specking it out assuming it will be built.

Instead, think like a product;

What problem does this feature idea solve? Is that problem relevant to the product I am building? Can that problem be solved quicker/better via another route ? Is it the most valuable problem to solve now? Is the problem space aligned to our current or future strategy? or do I need to alter/update the strategy?

A product mindset allows you to focus on timing, resource/cost, feasibility, feature detail, and so on after answering the aforementioned questions.

The above oversimplifies because

Leadership in discovery

Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

Project managers are facilitators of ideas. This is as far as they normally go in the ‘idea’ space.

Business Requirements collection in classic project delivery requires extensive upfront documentation.

Agile project delivery analyzes requirements iteratively.

However, the project manager is a facilitator/planner first and foremost, therefore topic knowledge is not expected.

I mean business domain, not technical domain (to confuse matters, it is true that in some instances, it can be both technical and business domains that are important for a single individual to master).

Product managers are domain experts. They will become one if they are training/new.

They lead discovery.

Product Manager-led discovery is much more than requirements gathering.

Requirements gathering involves a Business Analyst interviewing people and documenting their requests.

The project manager calculates what fits and what doesn't using their Iron Triangle (presumably in their head) and reports back to Steering.

If this requirements-gathering exercise failed to identify requirements, what would a project manager do? or bewildered by project requirements and scope?

They would tell Steering they need a Business SME or Business Lead assigning or more of their time.

Product discovery requires the Product Manager's subject knowledge and a new mindset.

How should a Product Manager handle confusing requirements?

Product Managers handle these challenges with their talents and tools. They use their own knowledge to fill in ambiguity, but they have the discipline to validate those assumptions.

To define the problem, they may perform qualitative or quantitative primary research.

They might discuss with UX and Engineering on a whiteboard and test assumptions or hypotheses.

Do Product Managers escalate confusing requirements to Steering/Senior leaders? They would fix that themselves.

Product managers raise unclear strategy and outcomes to senior stakeholders. Open talks, soft skills, and data help them do this. They rarely raise requirements since they have their own means of handling them without top stakeholder participation.

Discovery is greenfield, exploratory, research-based, and needs higher-order stakeholder management, user research, and UX expertise.

Product Managers also aid discovery. They lead discovery. They will not leave customer/user engagement to a Business Analyst. Administratively, a business analyst could aid. In fact, many product organizations discourage business analysts (rely on PM, UX, and engineer involvement with end-users instead).

The Product Manager must drive user interaction, research, ideation, and problem analysis, therefore a Product professional must be skilled and confident.

Creating vs. receiving and having an entrepreneurial attitude

Photo by Yannik Mika on Unsplash

Product novices and project managers focus on details rather than the big picture. Project managers prefer spreadsheets to strategy whiteboards and vision statements.

These folks ask their manager or senior stakeholders, "What should we do?"

They then elaborate (in Jira, in XLS, in Confluence or whatever).

They want that plan populated fast because it reduces uncertainty about what's going on and who's supposed to do what.

Skilled Product Managers don't only ask folks Should we?

They're suggesting this, or worse, Senior stakeholders, here are some options. After asking and researching, they determine what value this product adds, what problems it solves, and what behavior it changes.

Therefore, to move into Product, you need to broaden your view and have courage in your ability to discover ideas, find insightful pieces of information, and collate them to form a valuable plan of action. You are constantly defining RoI and building Business Cases, so much so that you no longer create documents called Business Cases, it is simply ingrained in your work through metrics, intelligence, and insights.

Product Management is not a free lunch.

Plateless.

Plates and food must be prepared.

In conclusion, Product Managers must make at least three mentality shifts:

  1. You put value first in all things. Time, money, and scope are not as important as knowing what is valuable.

  2. You have faith in the field and have the ability to direct the search. YYou facilitate, but you don’t just facilitate. You wouldn't want to limit your domain expertise in that manner.

  3. You develop concepts, strategies, and vision. You are not a waiter or an inbox where other people can post suggestions; you don't merely ask folks for opinion and record it. However, you excel at giving things that aren't clearly spoken or written down physical form.

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Sammy Abdullah

Sammy Abdullah

1 year ago

SaaS payback period data

It's ok and even desired to be unprofitable if you're gaining revenue at a reasonable cost and have 100%+ net dollar retention, meaning you never lose customers and expand them. To estimate the acceptable cost of new SaaS revenue, we compare new revenue to operating loss and payback period. If you pay back the customer acquisition cost in 1.5 years and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're doing well.

To evaluate payback period, we compared new revenue to net operating loss for the last 73 SaaS companies to IPO since October 2017. (55 out of 73). Here's the data. 1/(new revenue/operating loss) equals payback period. New revenue/operating loss equals cost of new revenue.

Payback averages a year. 55 SaaS companies that weren't profitable at IPO got a 1-year payback. Outstanding. If you pay for a customer in a year and never lose them (100%+ NDR), you're establishing a valuable business. The average was 1.3 years, which is within the 1.5-year range.

New revenue costs $0.96 on average. These SaaS companies lost $0.96 every $1 of new revenue last year. Again, impressive. Average new revenue per operating loss was $1.59.

Loss-in-operations definition. Operating loss revenue COGS S&M R&D G&A (technical point: be sure to use the absolute value of operating loss). It's wrong to only consider S&M costs and ignore other business costs. Operating loss and new revenue are measured over one year to eliminate seasonality.

Operating losses are desirable if you never lose a customer and have a quick payback period, especially when SaaS enterprises are valued on ARR. The payback period should be under 1.5 years, the cost of new income < $1, and net dollar retention 100%.

Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest

1 year ago

Take a look at The One, a Los Angeles estate with a whopping 105,000 square feet of living area.

The interiors of the 105,000-square-foot property, which sits on a five-acre parcel in the wealthy Los Angeles suburb of Bel Air and is suitably titled The One, have been a well guarded secret. We got an intimate look inside this world-record-breaking property, as well as the creative and aesthetic geniuses behind it.

The estate appears to float above the city, surrounded on three sides by a moat and a 400-foot-long running track. Completed over eight years—and requiring 600 workers to build—the home was designed by architect Paul McClean and interior designer Kathryn Rotondi, who were enlisted by owner and developer Nile Niami to help it live up to its standard.
"This endeavor seemed both exhilarating and daunting," McClean says. However, the home's remarkable location and McClean's long-standing relationship with Niami persuaded him to "build something unique and extraordinary" rather than just take on the job.

And McClean has more than delivered.

The home's main entrance leads to a variety of meeting places with magnificent 360-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Mountains, thanks to its 26-foot-high ceilings. There is water at the entrance area, as well as a sculpture and a bridge. "We often employ water in our design approach because it provides a sensory change that helps you acclimatize to your environment," McClean explains.

Niami wanted a neutral palette that would enable the environment and vistas to shine, so she used black, white, and gray throughout the house.

McClean has combined the home's inside with outside "to create that quintessential L.A. lifestyle but on a larger scale," he says, drawing influence from the local environment and history of Los Angeles modernism. "We separated the entertaining spaces from the living portions to make the house feel more livable. The former are on the lowest level, which serves as a plinth for the rest of the house and minimizes its apparent mass."

The home's statistics, in addition to its eye-catching style, are equally impressive. There are 42 bathrooms, 21 bedrooms, a 5,500-square-foot master suite, a 30-car garage gallery with two car-display turntables, a four-lane bowling alley, a spa level, a 30-seat movie theater, a "philanthropy wing (with a capacity of 200) for charity galas, a 10,000-square-foot sky deck, and five swimming pools.

Rotondi, the creator of KFR Design, collaborated with Niami on the interior design to create different spaces that flow into one another despite the house's grandeur. "I was especially driven to 'wow factor' components in the hospitality business," Rotondi says, citing top luxury hotel brands such as Aman, Bulgari, and Baccarat as sources of inspiration. Meanwhile, the home's color scheme, soft textures, and lighting are a nod to Niami and McClean's favorite Tom Ford boutique on Rodeo Drive.

The house boasts an extraordinary collection of art, including a butterfly work by Stephen Wilson on the lower level and a Niclas Castello bespoke panel in black and silver in the office, thanks to a cooperation between Creative Art Partners and Art Angels. There is also a sizable collection of bespoke furniture pieces from byShowroom.

A house of this size will never be erected again in Los Angeles, thanks to recently enacted city rules, so The One will truly be one of a kind. "For all of us, this project has been such a long and instructive trip," McClean says. "It was exciting to develop and approached with excitement, but I don't think any of us knew how much effort and time it would take to finish the project."

Monroe Mayfield

Monroe Mayfield

1 year ago

CES 2023: A Third Look At Upcoming Trends

Las Vegas hosted CES 2023. This third and last look at CES 2023 previews upcoming consumer electronics trends that will be crucial for market share.

Photo by Willow Findlay on Unsplash

Definitely start with ICT. Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon spoke to CNBC from Las Vegas on China's crackdown and the company's automated driving systems for electric vehicles (EV). The business showed a concept car and its latest Snapdragon processor designs, which offer expanded digital interactions through SalesForce-partnered CRM platforms.

Qualcomm CEO Meets SK Hynix Vice Chairman at CES 2023 On Jan. 6, SK hynix Inc.'s vice chairman and co-CEO Park Jung-ho discussed strengthening www.businesskorea.co.kr.

Electrification is reviving Michigan's automobile industry. Michigan Local News reports that $14 billion in EV and battery manufacturing investments will benefit the state. The report also revealed that the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) fund had generated roughly $1 billion for the state's automotive sector.

Michigan to "dominate" EV battery manufacturing after $2B investment. Michigan spent $2 billion to safeguard www.mlive.com.

Ars Technica is great for technology, society, and the future. After CES 2023, Jonathan M. Gitlin published How many electric car chargers are enough? Read about EV charging network issues and infrastructure spending. Politics aside, rapid technological advances enable EV charging network expansion in American cities and abroad.

New research says US needs 8x more EV chargers by 2030. Electric vehicle skepticism—which is widespread—is fundamentally about infrastructure. arstechnica.com

Finally, the UNEP's The Future of Electric Vehicles and Material Resources: A Foresight Brief. Understanding how lithium-ion batteries will affect EV sales is crucial. Climate change affects EVs in various ways, but electrification and mining trends stand out because more EVs demand more energy-intensive metals and rare earths. Areas & Producers has been publishing my electrification and mining trends articles. Follow me if you wish to write for the publication.

Producers This magazine analyzes medium.com-related corporate, legal, and international news to examine a paradigm shift.

The Weekend Brief (TWB) will routinely cover tech, industrials, and global commodities in global markets, including stock markets. Read more about the future of key areas and critical producers of the global economy in Areas & Producers.

TotalEnergies, Stellantis Form Automotive Cells Company (ACC) A joint-venture to design and build electric vehicles (EVs) was formed in 2020.