framing by Kent Beck of business stages requiring different processes/trade-offs: Explore, Expand, Extract (cf PMF)

Jul19'2016: The Product Development Triathlon. What if those waterfall folks aren’t wrong, what if they are solving a different problem than I’m solving?

Product development proceeds in three phases:

  • Explore–the risky search for a viable return on a viable investment..highest expected value strategy is to reduce the cost of experimentation and put a little investment into many, uncorrelated experiments
  • Expand–now things are going nuts... Unanticipated bottlenecks appear. All you have time for is to eliminate the next bottleneck just before it derails you
  • Once growth becomes routine, it’s time to: Extract–now the shape of the problem and solution spaces are clear.

Lessons from the Triathlon

requires different tools, techniques, and value systems in the three phases

The transitions are awkward, but they count

Only organizations that can execute all three phases can complete a race.

Unlike a triathlon, the same people don’t have to complete the phases. I specialize in exploration

If things aren’t going smoothly, see if you’ve changed phases without noticing. If so, change the rules to match the phase you’re in.

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