The Lean Product Lifecycle

  1. Idea — Capturing ideas and aligning them to strategy
  2. Explore — Investigating the problem and opportunity
  3. Validate — Achieving product market fit with a sustainable business model
  4. Grow — Accelerating your business and maximising market penetration
  5. Sustain — Sustaining market dominance and maximising profits
  6. Retire — Recycling residual value and freeing capital for innovation
  • Product Development Best Practice: Ensuring that products teams are doing the right things at the right stage. We encourage teams to engage with customers/learners early in order to understand their needs deeply before they start building their products. We also encourage teams to ensure that they have found a profitable/sustainable business model before they move into the Grow stage.
  • Investment Governance Best Practice: Ensuring that we employ metered funding for products using Lean PLC criteria at each stage. In the early stages of the Lean PLC teams get minimal investments, similar to seed funding, this allows them to test their hypotheses about customer needs and the market potential for their proposed solution. As they succeed in the earlier stages of the Lean PLC, we double down investment in the later stages. This process allows us to ensure that we are incrementally investing in those products that have the highest chances of success.
  • Searching While Executing: Most established companies, have a large portfolio of profitable products. The Lean PLC has been designed to inform both the management of innovation and the management of established products. On the left-side of the PLC, searching is done using lean startup methods and investments are made incrementally at the stage-gates. On the right-side, conventional accounting practices are employed, with an additional process through which each product goes through a quarterly or bi-annual review. It is at this review that a product can be reclassified to later or earlier stages of the Lean PLC.



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Tendayi Viki

Tendayi Viki

Associate Partner at Strategyzer. Author of Pirates In The Navy. Thinkers50 Innovation Award Nominee 2017 - Radar Thinker 2018. Learn more: