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Articles in this section describe the learning activities, knowledge capture and Status Events that take place inside a Learning Cycle.
Every Knowledge Gap and Key Decision Report contains a section to describe the purpose of the Key Decision or Knowledge Gap. What is this section and how do we use it effectively...
It takes a little time to learn how to write effective Key Decision and Knowledge Gap reports, but you can accelerate that process for your team with a few strategically-placed reviews of these reports prior to a Learning Cycle or Integration Event.
In fact, there are four points in time when a review from you can be especially helpful. . . .
Even the best of us will devolve into Build-Test-Fix cycles when there is no structure to the learning phases of our projects. It's our default way of working when we're trying to bring something new into existence. We give the idea a try, and then we start refining it until it works.
But it's not a very efficient way to learn, because we're doggedly pursuing one path instead of looking for alternatives. . .
I've written many Knowledge Briefs at this point about how to structure the Rapid Learning Cycles framework and run RLC Events. But this week, we go inside the Learning Cycle.
That's where we do the work of Rapid Learning. That's where we observe, ask questions, build models, make prototypes and run experiments. It's where we diverge to find alternatives, and then generate the knowledge about those alternatives. . .
Set-Based Concurrent Engineering was first described by Allen Ward in his studies of the Toyota Product Development System. It has a lot of potential, yet it's been one of the most difficult and infrequently-used aspects of Lean Product Development.
That's because the traditional product development process doesn't have a place for SBCE. Most traditional programs focus on producing deliverables that are naturally point-based, and force teams to make decisions too early. . .
Teams in early product development generate a lot of ideas about how to meet customers' needs with unique products, and then they need to narrow those ideas down to a final product concept. This rhythm of divergence / convergence repeats many times as a product moves through early product development until the group has a final Proof of Concept that they can take into detailed design. This is one of the reasons why the Fuzzy Front End is so . . . fuzzy.
Rapid Learning Cycles provide structures that fit naturally with this cadence of broadening to develop alternatives and then narrowing down to the solution. Knowledge Gaps provide a natural home for the work of building knowledge, exploring alternatives and generating new ideas. Key Decisions trigger narrowing decisions that filter out the weak ideas into an initial set. Later Knowledge Gaps probe this set...