Progress is better than perfect
— Chapter 9 Batch, Part 3 ACCELERATE in <The Lean Startup> by Eric Ries
What is counterintuitive power of small batches? i.e. why we need small batches?
The first thing is to understand is that “individual performance is not nearly as important as the overall performance of the system”.
However, when you in planning and design of the product, how would you know the overall performance of the system?
With the following three surprising power, small batches are the option for the lean startup.
- the ability identify quality problems much sooner
- the ability to learn faster from customers, which is the essential competitive advantage.
- the ability to minimize the waste ultimately, including time, money and effort.
In lean manufacturing, “Single Piece Flow”, which is the work that proceeds in stages, and with each stage when the work is moved from one stage to the next a time. Small batches utilitise the power from the Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED), which is to find out “ways to reconfigure out each meachine rapidly to make the right part at the right time.” to reduce the “changeover time”, i.e. “by reimagining and restructuring the work that needed to be done.”
How to practice just-in-time scalability in planning and design, which is intangible, compared to lean manufacturing in buidling product?
“…the right way to think about the product development process in a Lean Startup is that it is responding to pull requests in the form of experiments that need to be run…Thus, it is no the customer, but rather our hypothesis about the customer, that pulls work from product development and other functions. Any other work is waste.”
What does small batches mean to me?
“Think big, start small”. Small batches help me to be able to adapt the dynamic environment, the ability to learn faster from the world around. And the key is not to find out what the world is actually but to test my hypothesis about the world. All my actions are based on my hypothesis. No matter is what I love, what I want, what I learn, what I see, what I hear…at the end of the day, I may not be able to find out how the world really looks like, and even if I may find out all of hypothesis in my life are wrong after all experiments I have run, I am pretty sure I am in progress. Progress is better than perfect.
Before we grow, we maybe all come from a small batch in nature.