Why Hypotheses Beat Goals

Not long ago, it became fashionable to embrace failure as a sign of a company’s willingness to take risks. This trend lost favor as executives recognized that what they wanted was learning, not necessarily failure. Every failure can be attributed to a raft of missteps, and many failures do not automatically contribute to future success. […]

Building Digital-Ready Culture in Traditional Organizations

Getting your company into digital shape doesn’t mean dumping everything that has made it strong. Even though traditional companies find much to admire and learn from in the cultures of born-digital companies, some born-digital qualities are cause for concern. Amazon.com, for instance, launches new businesses quickly and drives repeated efficiency gains in operations. However, it […]

Eight Management Ideas to Embrace in the 2020s

Our experts reveal where leaders should focus their efforts in 2020 and beyond. At the beginning of a new year (and a new decade), it’s natural to wonder what’s ahead. As technology and society continue to rapidly transform, it can also be overwhelming for managers and organizations to think about what to tackle next. With […]

Digital Success Requires Breaking Rules

In an earlier column, I discussed how digital technologies (social, mobile, analytics, cloud, internet of things, artificial intelligence, blockchain, and many more) are instigating two different transformations at established companies: one to become digitized (for operational excellence), the other to become digital (for rapid innovation). Both transformations are essential to sustained business success, but the technologies […]

Why Large Companies Struggle With Lean

To compete against startups and other disruptors, large companies need new approaches to innovation. MIT SMR FRONTIERS This article is part of an MIT SMR initiative exploring how technology is reshaping the practice of management. When serial entrepreneur Steve Blank published his first book, The Four Steps to the Epiphany, in 2005, he had no inkling that it […]

Making It Easier to Manage and Scale Digital Projects

Organizations struggle to reap the benefits from agile methods at scale. Systematic processes for prototyping, testing, and launching ideas can fix that problem. As business models across industries are destabilized by disruptive threats, organizations are searching for effective ways to manage their digital projects to deliver the highest value outcomes. Agile methodologies that were originally […]

What Is Agile?

Until recently, Agile was seen as a set of management practices relevant to software development. That’s because Agile’s initial advocates were software developers and its foundational document was the Manifesto for Software Development of 2001. Fifteen years later in 2016, following recognition by Harvard Business Review, McKinsey & Company and the 2015 Learning Consortium Project, Agile is now spreading rapidly to […]

10 agile ideas worth sharing

MIT Sloan professor Steven Eppinger makes the case that agile applies not just to software development, but to large-scale systems engineering too. Nearly 20 years into the agile revolution, it’s a given that software development has been inextricably altered by the avid embrace of agile practices. Are large-scale systems engineering initiatives next? Steven Eppinger, professor […]

Estimating on agile projects: what’s the story, what’s the point?

Introduction Before you commission a painter to decorate your home or a mechanic to fix your car, you get an estimate from them, right? You need to know how much it’s likely to cost and how long it might take. It’s just common sense. What does experience tell us, however? How close are those original […]