I just stumbled on an blog entry on Leanca.mp which asks the question: “How can we prevent Lean Startup from becoming dogma.
And it has some interesting comments on there, in original order:
Lean Startup needs to avoid becoming dogmatic or a religion
Let’s not get into where agile ended up with SCRUM. As much as I love the whole movement, I start to feel more dogmatism and it is very important to become aware of it before it is too late.
And ends with:
I’m really interested to learn from Agilists, Designers and others who’ve been there, so we can learn from you..
So. Here’s my take on it. You are asking the wrong question. Let me explain.
Your movement, whether it is Lean Startup, or anything else does not become anything.
The only thing that it is is a perception of that movement by other people. So it is not even one thing, but potentially thousands or millions of slightly different things.
The perception of people is mainly influenced by the behaviors they see in (majority) of the members of your movement.
So we should rephrase our question to:
“How can we influence how the majority of people perceive the behavior of the majority of the members of our movement?”
To which my counter question would be:
Why do you care what the majority of people think of the majority of people?
Why do we need to prevent Lean Startup from becoming dogma?
Lean Startup will be seen as a dogma when enough dogmatic people will join the movement. It is that simple. And that is fine.
The day is not far that we will be seeing a discussion about whether company X is a Lean Startup or not. Or about the definition of a pivot. Or that an investor invest in a company because their increased revenue/pivot is not enough. And I am sure I will be called not-Lean-Startup-enough at some point in my live.
This is just like we had with Agile. We now have religious wars over Kanban vs Scrum, fights over what exactly a user story is. And recently I heard of an agile company that is using an employees individual “total storypoints done” metric in their annual performance review.
You can fight it if you want, but it won’t matter much. You are not the majority, why do you care?
What you should do instead is try some of the Lean Startup techniques, get a feel for what works when, put it in your toolbox with all the other good ideas and pull them out when needed.
And if you really really care what ‘people’ think of your precious movement there are 2 options:
- Prevent or discourage any dogmatic people from joining your movement. (Think Extreme Sports, not a dogmatic person in sight)
- Make dogmatic people see the light (preferred)