Screen shot of E Fundamentals level zero dashboardOne of the start ups I work with recently released version 2.0 of their product, a really clean, compelling SaaS platform. I was discussing with the CTO the difference between technology development approaches in corporates and start ups. Now of course, it much easier to get serious about product management when the product is THE product. But even with that, the differences were thought provoking and worth sharing.


All credit for these insights goes to Adrian Butter, the CTO at E:Fundamentals:

  • Team first – the team delivers solutions, not individuals.  People have roles, but the team moves together, and individuals share and coach each other
  • Collaboration – the mindset and ability to want to share responsibility for common goals, rather than always working separately on different deliverables
  • Real time – the desire and ability to make a difference every day, formulating work at the lowest level of granularity, as part of a wider context that is sometimes not clear
  • Lean Innovation – looking for the best solution in the time available, knowing it may change over time. Avoiding long running pieces of work that seek perfection, knowing that the business need or value may change if they take too long to deliver
  • Accountability – confident teams thrive on the collective ownership of delivery.  Why worry about the threat of fault or blame, if the main aim is celebrating the successes of the team and sharing in the common goal
  • Empowerment – by empowering people to be involved in every part of the product you generate a set of product owners that feedback on the plan and genuinely care for the resulting deliverables.  This reverses the negativity of command and control where team “do as told”, and which implies that one individual can make all the right decisions on everything, everyday
  • Involvement – a small team would expect to be included in the end to end delivery, that puts those with the most technical knowledge in front of the very people that will use the service. Cutting out the middle man never made so much sense
  • Product roadmaps – gone are the days of the big-bang release at the end of a waterfall project that was designed up front under duress, built to gated quality points and hidden from view until the big reveal. The organisation needs to embrace the concept of meaningful product roadmaps.  Design a way for your application to be built with a few core sub-services, in one region, in one language, with a subset of product or service data included.  It will be amazing what you learn and how much time you’ll save not building things for a global launch that no-one locally wanted

It’s an interesting exercise to take this list and check it against your own delivery shop


Rob works with technology start ups and leading retailers on the impact and opportunities of digital technologies

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