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Lean Inception with a defined budget and deadline


QUESTION: If the company already defines a budget and expected delivery date in advance for the creation of the product, should this information be shared by the facilitator with the team going through the Lean Inception or would it disrupt the activities – putting a limitation on the collaborative construction process? – by Fabiane Castro


ANSWER: Unfortunately this is not such an uncommon scenario.

If there is a previously defined deadline and expectation for the product, this must be taken into account. But the group still need to get an alignment about the MVP, the first steps towards the validating the product success.

What I do, in these cases, it is to follow the Lean Inception agenda regardless of that information, but use it at the end of Lean Inception, before the showcase.

Near the end of Lean Inception, after doing the cost, time, and effort calculation (as described in the Lean Inception book and in this post), I put the expected (pre-defined) dates in the sequencer, side by side:

  1. The dates and deliverables, according to Lean Inception
  2. Dates and deliverables as per prior expectations

Hence I promote a frank conversation: and now, what shall we do?

As simple as that: “you expected Abril 15th , we have July 20th.”

Since there’s an elephant in the room, so let’s talk about it.

At least after going through the Lean Inception, we can talk about whether we’re going to create an elephant, or some other much smaller and much more agile animals — an MVP. Hopefully the group had great conversations, understandings and alignment. The group was able to explore the options and think strategically.  To think big, with a nice product vision, but to start small, with a MVP.


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Lean Inception: Learn How to Align People and Build the Right Product

Lean Inception: Learn How to Align People and Build the Right Product

Lean Inception is a crucial agile methodology for aligning teams on effective product creation. Introduced by Paulo Caroli, it combines Design Thinking and Lean StartUp techniques to define strategies and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) scope. It is valuable for large projects, startups, and business innovations. Not suitable for discovery activities, prototyping decisions, or cross-team alignment. Active participants, stakeholders, and skilled facilitators are essential for the success of this collaborative process. Lean Inception is fundamental for guiding teams toward meaningful and efficient product outcomes.

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