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Application Development: What IT Organizations Can Learn from Lean Start-Ups

Application Development: What IT Organizations Can Learn from Lean Start-Ups

This IDC study is an introduction to the concepts and practices of the lean start-up methodology and is designed to help CIOs and IT and LOB technology professionals understand what the methodology is and how its practices can be applied in IT organizations to improve customer acceptance and business value of IT's products and services. IT organizations in large businesses may seem to have little in common with start-ups, but dig a little deeper and it turns out they do. The key tenets of the lean start-up methodology are entrepreneurial management, build-measure-learn loops, the minimum viable prototype, and actionable metrics, validated learning, and the pivot. Collectively, they form a methodology designed to identify business problems, quickly prototype solutions that are tested with prospective customers or users, learn from the testing, and refine the solution or shift to a new one. Ultimately, the lean start-up methodology is designed to help practitioners solve complex problems with associated uncertainties — in other words, what CIOs and IT organizations do for a living.

"CIOs and IT organizations that are expected to drive innovation and corporate growth are much like start-ups," says Marc Strohlein, adjunct research advisor with IDC's Research Network. "They can adopt lean start-up methodologies and practices to help manage risk and ensure the success of their initiatives."

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.

IDC Opinion
In This Study
Situation Overview
CIO as Entrepreneur
Identifying Problems and Solutions
The Business Model Canvas
The Build-Measure-Learn Loop
The Minimum Viable Prototype
Actionable Metrics for Measurement
Validated Learning and the Pivot
Applying Lean Start-Up Lessons and Fast Track IT
Future Outlook
Essential Guidance
In the Next 12 Months
In the Next One to Two Years
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Figure: Sample Business Model Canvas
Figure: Sample Business Model Canvas for the Idea-Harvesting Project

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