(2012-06-15) Maurya Lean Stack

Ash Maurya is working on moving from the Lean Canvas to process/tools helping structure the assumptions/risks/experiments that it contains: he's calling this the "LeanStack". You start out by drawing a line in the sand with your initial Lean Canvas, prioritizing risks, and systematically testing those risks through experiments. There is a built-in learning feedback loop from experiments back to risks back to the business model. While this process works conceptually, I often field questions from other entrepreneurs specifically on how to: correctly prioritize risks and define experiments; track those experiments so it scales over time (and with more people); reflect the learning from experiments back on to the canvas.

  • The lowest layer of the stack, your vision or why, is still best captured by a Lean Canvas. It’s meant to document your current best guess at realizing a working business model.
  • The middle layer (StrategyAndRisks board) of the stack is the glue that connects the other two layers that was missing from my previous attempts.
  • The top layer of the stack is intended to capture the actual work that goes into building the product(s) that realize the vision... I capture this work on a Validated Learning Board which is similar to the Feature Kanban board but with a few additional tweaks. For one, it’s been generalized to support any kind of product (not just software)... But the big change here is that it models both product and experiments on the same board using a two-tiered board implemented using horizontal swimlanes... The top tier captures the state of the product. A “product” on the board can represent a minimum viable product (MVP), minimum marketable feature (MVF), or a related sub-product. At any given time, a product can only be in one of the four stages.

Jun27: more details. The first step of the process is still capturing the essence of your vision as a single-page Business Model diagram using Lean Canvas... With your vision documented, you then move on to the StrategyAndRisks board. The goal here is to formulate an appropriate plan of attack – one that prioritizes learning about what’s riskiest above everything else... With your strategy and risks documented, you are now ready to move on to experiments.

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