Lean Inception
Learn step-by-step how to align people and build the right product by starting with a Lean Inception - based on the bestselling book.
About this Certification
Learn step-by-step how to align people and build the right product by starting with a Lean Inception - based on the bestselling book.
Agile projects emphasize the early and continuous delivery of valuable software, whose value comes from business objectives and the needs of customers. At the very start of the project, how does the team know what to work on? “Naive” agile promotes that there is no up-front work, but in practice we realize we have to first get the team on the same page as to what we are building. This phase of discovery is called “Inception”. “Lean Inception” takes this concept a step further by removing everything which is not about the product (such as architecture and project planning), allowing a team to understand the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in the shortest duration possible.

Agile projects emphasize the early and continuous delivery of valuable software, whose value comes from business objectives and the needs of customers. At the very start of the project, how does the team know what to work on? “Naive” agile promotes that there is no up-front work, but in practice we realize we have to first get the team on the same page as to what we are building. This phase of discovery is called “Inception”. “Lean Inception” takes this concept a step further by removing everything which is not about the product (such as architecture and project planning), allowing a team to understand the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in the shortest duration possible.

A lean inception is useful when the team needs to iteratively develop an MVP. It consists of a series of activities, typically scheduled over the course of a week, that generate alignment between the business and the technical people. Participants understand who the customers are, which activities will be supported by the product, and how to measure if they find the product useful. The team ends the week with a release plan (an ordered list of estimated user stories), and a clear understanding of the features that are to be developed. We've found Lean Inception to be extremely valuable in two main circumstances:

  • Large projects find a lean inception valuable to start quickly and be oriented to work in a lean style. Such a start build early iterations designed to discover and test what features are truly valued by their users.
  • Smaller organizations (such as startups) use lean inceptions to take an idea that's been tested by some pre-software MVPs and evolve it into a software product


This workshop is specifically about understanding an MVP, it doesn't substitute for ideation sessions, customer research, architectural review, or competitive analysis. It's one specific technique that's part of understanding what it takes to build a successful product. Exactly how it fits in with these other activities depends very much on the specific context of your organization and the development effort that you are working on.


What is a Lean Inception?

Lean inception is the effective combination of Design Thinking and Lean StartUp to decide the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It is a collaborative session that will help a group of people — typically an agile team, a squad, or a product team — understand, align and plan the building of the lean product. The construction of a successful product starts with a Lean Inception.

The lean inception consists of a series of activities usually conducted over the course of a week. It starts with an introduction and kick off, and finishes with a showcase. During this week a team of individuals go from an idea to the release of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) — a simple version of a product that is given to users in order to validate the key business assumptions. The course goes in-depth on how to prepare and run the activities, and gives you tips and tricks that will help you make your Lean Inception a success.

You will learn how to generate alignment between the business and the technical people, and how to create an ordered list of user stories with estimates together with a release plan. The course is not simply focused on teaching a method, but instead it is a hands-on facilitation experience - so you never waste time, money, or effort building the wrong product!


Certification

CLF

Certified Lean Inception Facilitator

At the completion of this course, you will receive a certificate of participation in this training. After participative attendance and the completion of the workshop requirements, the facilitator qualifies participants to become a Certified Lean Inception Facilitator. If the facilitator identifies a lack of achievement of the learning objectives, additional post-workshop materials may need to be submitted before certification. The certification process does not rely on testing, relying instead on active participation and engagement with the material. The certification is included in the price of the course.

This certification grants you the ability to run your own Lean Inception workshops if desired. Inquire with your facilitator is this interests you.


Learning Objectives

Each of our offerings focuses on a specific topic, but they all share a common objective: they aim to introduce continuous innovation into structured environments. Our overarching objective is for you to learn effective practices to influence and catalyze innovation in rapidly evolving environments. So, among other things you will learn:

  • How do we work out what should be in MVP and start an agile project as quickly as possible?
  • How do we ensure the team starts creating the product with a shared understanding and an effective plan?
  • How to diverge and converge to create alignment between people with different perspectives (such as business, User eXperience, and developers)
  • How to discover and test what features are truly valued by their users.


Audience

Directly relevant to those involved in software product delivery (in an IT environment). These include Agile Coaches, Product Owners (POs), Scrum Masters, Entrepreneurs, Business Analysts, Usability eXperts, and Software Developers. If you are involved in the creation of a product, this workshop is for you.

This workshop will be valuable to large organizations that want to start quickly and orient work by building early iterations designed to discover and test what features are truly valued by their users. It will also be valuable to smaller organizations (such as startups) to take an idea that's been tested by some pre-software MVPs and evolve it into a software product.


Format

We abide by the “hands-on” method of learning, where each concept is studied as a module that contains theory, practice, and discussion. Regardless of the length of the workshop, these are intense days of collaborative activities where you will learn by doing, sharing and discussing findings in small groups. 

Unless explicitly indicated, our events include all you need for a day of intense mental activity: coffee, snacks, lunch, and plenty of breaks. We choose only prime locations to conduct events in, and strive to provide the best experience possible. It is a safe environment where we have fun and come out with plenty to talk about.


Pre-Requisites

While there are no specific pre-requisites to this course, we recommend familiarity with agile development concepts, Lean Startup, Design Thinking, and/or strong background in product development in order to maximize your learning opportunity.

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Thiago Fernandes
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