Enabling individuals to achieve better successes during new product development
OpLaunch helps individual contributors thrive by improving their capability to synthesize and exercise better development options in new product development networks. These capabilities maximize a new product development network's capability to improve their focus and direction as they develop multiple ways to succeed.
A new product development network that has better focus and direction with the requisite skills will have better successes. As project metrics, this manifests itself in characteristics such as superior agility, efficiency, effectiveness, and speed. For individuals, this improves motivational factors such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
Individual contributors (engineers, coders, graphics specialists, communicators,...) considering interactions to accelerate their capabilities to synthesize value and to improve their development experiences.
In the most powerful implementation, development options are more than:
- Operational, tactical, or strategic choices
- Real options (delaying decisions until the last responsible moment)
- A contract, like a financial option, where individuals may obtain items at a specified price in the future
- The creation of two versions of a component followed by comparative (A/B) testing within a specialty group
In its most powerful implementation, a development options approach is characterized by synthesizing and exercising many multiple perspective, concurrent, recursive options to maximize the development of the network’s capability for self-correcting focus and direction throughout projects.
Synthesis: a process of connection. Synthesis generates something new and different. A synthesis approach enables one to imagine how a series of efforts may work together to produce the desired result.
Exercise: a combination of decision, action, and interaction. Exercise includes the interaction of people with prototypes.
Many: more than one potential solution. Having several options reduces the reliance on the accuracy of detailed forecasts.
Multiple Perspective: an orientation that benefits from a diversity of views. Orientations are better informed. This approach supersedes compromise or consensus. The potential for mismatches (the difference between the actual and the interpretation) is reduced. John Boyd referred to this as “an ongoing many-sided implicit cross-referencing process of projection, empathy, correlation, and rejection.” (Boyd, The Essence of Winning and Losing, 1995)
Concurrent: more than one option can be synthesized and/or exercised at one time. Learning is accelerated. Parallel experiments, including A/B testing, are encouraged.
Recursion: any solution or technique in which large problems are solved by reducing them to smaller problems of the same form. Sub-optimization is reduced.
Focus: the item for temporary, concentrated attention. The current objective.
Direction: the integration of all development efforts toward a solution set. Targetted cooperation.
In this illustration, synthesized development options are represented by four items described in documents. Exercised options are represented by three prototypes and their interaction with the environment which includes potential customers. The interactions shape subsequent syntheses.
Characteristics of Attractive Development Options
Attractive development options:
- Provide a framework to improve the capacity for a continuously self-correcting, network-informed focus and direction (schwerpunkt) throughout development
- Enable a dynamic network to detect and correct mismatches from factors such as accumulated learning, evolving market conditions, and new boundary conditions
- Provide a way for individuals to express autonomy within a network that involves a multitude of efforts within boundaries
- Expedite the validation of more project details
- Prepare for informed synthesis in the future
- Are tasks that are likely to impact the antifragility of the network during a project
- Answer the question ‘what should the network embrace now to improve the potential to win in the future?’
- Are synthesized and exercised continuously during a project to refine the focus and direction of efforts to generate a win
- Are consistent with the concept of safe-to-fail experiments that have an asymmetric payoff function (large potential gain, small potential loss)
- Are exercised, evolve, or expire
The capabilities of the network impact the attractiveness of the development options that are generated. To the extent that options are exercised and provide feedback, the confidence in their attractiveness tends to increase.
Multiple development options can be active simultaneously to provide multiple opportunities to win within the project’s current constraints.
ThIs illustration contains representations of four snapshots of the development network from the beginning of the project to pre-launch. Individuals engage and disengage throughout the project. The image in the upper-right corner represents the holistic solution set. The arrow represents a corrected version of the direction of efforts with a change in direction early in the project. The graphic elements within the arrow represent the details of synthesizing and exercising development options to evaluate multiple opportunities to win as well as to detect and to correct mismatches. Discontinued development options are represented using red octagons.
Pathways to new product development proficiency
While some organizations develop new products by assigning tasks to existing, available resources, our approach enhances the optionality of the development network to be more effective and efficient. Instead of the limitations of templates, tutorials, patterns, and checklists, our approach goes beyond compliance with explicit processes to training individual contributors to do things beyond their current ability, to do new things, to analyze the results, and to correct their mistakes. While some offer common incentivization techniques, the OpLaunch approach improves antifragility.
We help individuals improve specific NPD skills. We design deliberative practice exercises to improve implicit coordination, cross-functional collaboration, mutualism, and the cohesiveness of efforts within development networks.
Strategies to Win
We embrace a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to new product development.
Instead of requiring extensive design efforts with rigid requirements at the beginning of a project followed by explicit execution, our approach promotes an interactive process of continuous learning.
While others emphasize processes with a series of handoffs and gates, the OpLaunch approach capitalizes on multiple options across multiple domains to provide multiple opportunities to win.
We design development environments to improve the capabilities for better development experiences to engage individual contributors. We increase the elements of motivation (such as autonomy, mastery, and purpose) to out-perform development environments characterized by procrustean rules, mediocrity, and apathy.
Our approach includes recursion (solving problems of the same form) and reductionism (splitting tasks to conform to existing silos). Our approach promotes simultaneous development efforts. Our approach capitalizes on diversity in the development network.
Why improve your capability to synthesize and exercise development options?
With enhanced development optionality, individuals can transition from their roles of specialists to become contributors to development options.
This approach is more powerful than cross-training. An engineer does not need to become a marketer. A marketer does not need to learn how to code.
Rather than maintaining functional silos, the OpLaunch approach capitalizes on domain diversity. A specialist can practice their craft in new and powerful ways to accomplish the objective - adding value to the development effort. Our approach facilitates pair development to synthesize options that are informed by the analyses of multiple perspectives.
This approach promotes qualities such as flow, and harmony.
When you enhance your NPD optionality, your development experience (DX) improves and the development experiences of your colleagues improves.
Typically, specialists express their wins to peers. For example, a coder may express their wins through recurring actions such as pushing files to their Github repository. This approach applies to individuals during projects. To a greater extent, this approach applies to individuals throughout their careers.
OpLaunch develops solutions that enable product users to feel more successful. Customers may express their wins by actions such as posting product reviews that describe how the products enable them to be successful.
OpLaunch develops solutions that improve business, project, and portfolio metrics. Managers may express their wins through actions such as presenting at an innovation conference. Managers may quantify their success using business metrics and projects metrics.
Management receives better returns on development investments. Competitive advantage. Less grief.
Improve your capability to synthesize and exercise better development options
OpLaunch helps new product developers improve their Development Experiences (DX) through a development options framework within consulting, coaching, and training formats. We help individuals and groups in online and on-site sessions in hourly, project, or retainer arrangements.
In addition, OpLaunch provides new product development services.