Start with the end in mind

This is a core philoshopy of ours.  We get a first version of a dashboard in front of our customers within two weeks.  It’s no secret that most of us are better editors than creators. 

By building something tanglble quickly, you can iterate early-on in the project.  This gives shape to the project and eliminates any doubt as to where you are heading.  Folks like this strategy because they get to play a big role in shaping the end product.

The opposite of this approach is to gather requirements for weeks, go into a closet to build software for many more weeks, then deliver something.  This is how software used to get developed.  Rapid iteration will beat this any day of the week.

Sometimes, the front-end (dashboard) will get ahead of the back-end (data).  And some folks will say that you’re going too fast.  Or that you should just wait until the new data warehouse comes online.  Nonsense. 

Build a dashboard first and insure that you define the measurements important to your business.  Then go get the data that supports the measurements.  Don’t let what’s available today limit how you measure your business.

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