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Digital Strategy: Agile Evolution or by Intelligent Design?

Imagine a spectrum of how often we release the first and subsequent versions of our new software product.

At one end, we release a new version to market every other day. At the other end, we wait until the product is ready, polished and perfect before launching it on an unsuspecting world.

Business, marketing and technological tensions pull us in different directions along this line.

Business may want to take a no risk approach with early revenues and regular new features to sell. On the other hand, marketers may want market feedback as well as regular new releases to talk about.

Software developers should also be able to turn on a dime, supporting the ever changing demands of customers.

Agile fits well too with the principles of lean startup and drives us to adopt POC’s, MVP’s and beta releases.

Done well, agile has been most useful for many of our clients.

I love how it forces us to be disciplined, to focus on identifying and realizing the unique value proposition, to plan the evolution of distinct technological and UX competencies over time and to beg, borrow or steal non core requirements from 3rd parties.

Biological ecosystems teach us a few things here and raise a contentious argument that I want us to think about too. Evolution can take millions of years and kills off many species that fail to make the grade, as mother nature seeks out the perfect DNA.

On the other hand, Intelligent Design (for we ARE the gods of our product plans) can take only a few iterations to reach the same end.

If we can afford the time to design it well and the capital risk that this implies, confident that the market will wait for our new new thing.

Two clients of mine are following this approach. This are no half measures to their ideas and investors support their vision.

Many competencies and components need to come together for the product to make a splash. Yes, there is risk, but when we succeed, the world will notice.

Every business idea has a different context and set of tensions to determine the its idea product roll out strategy.

The hope is that GKIM’s approach to Agile v Intelligent Design gives us some tools to help debate and plan the best for each project afresh.

If this sounds like a worthwhile conversation to stimulate thinking on the best approach for your digital business idea, please send me an email at ian(a)gkim.digital.