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  • Donald E. Hester

Getting Something Going and Improving Over Time

Getting Something Going and Improving Over Time: The Power of MVP, Marginal Performance Gains, and Planned Neglect

Starting a new project or venture can be intimidating, especially if you're aiming for perfection from the outset. But sometimes, the best way to achieve success is to start small and iterate over time, using a combination of MVP, marginal performance gains, and planned neglect to make steady progress.


The MVP approach involves creating a minimally viable product that meets the core needs of your target audience, without getting bogged down in unnecessary features or details. By launching an MVP quickly and collecting feedback from early users, you can learn what works and what doesn't, and use that feedback to guide further development. This approach allows you to start small and build on your successes over time, rather than trying to achieve perfection from the outset.


Marginal performance gains, or incremental improvements made in multiple areas of a system or process, can help you achieve steady progress over time. By focusing on small, incremental improvements in multiple areas, you can achieve a significant overall improvement in performance. This approach is particularly useful in situations where resources are limited, and you need to make the most of what you have.


The 80% solution takes the idea of MVP and marginal performance gains a step further, by encouraging you to find a solution that is good enough to address 80% of the problem, rather than seeking perfection. This approach allows you to avoid wasting time and resources on unnecessary details, and instead focus on achieving the most important goals.


Planned neglect is another tool you can use to make progress over time. By deliberately deprioritizing certain areas or responsibilities, you can focus your attention on a few key priorities and use your resources more efficiently. This approach can help you avoid spreading yourself too thin and ensure that you're making the most of your time and energy.


Combining these approaches can help you get something going and improve over time, without getting bogged down in unnecessary details or unrealistic expectations. By starting small with an MVP, focusing on marginal performance gains, seeking the 80% solution, and using planned neglect to deprioritize less important areas, you can make steady progress and achieve your goals more efficiently.


Of course, these approaches may not work in every situation, and it's important to be flexible and adapt as needed. But by keeping these concepts in mind, you can set yourself up for success and make steady progress over time.


Deploying any cybersecurity control is essential to protect an organization from potential cyber threats. However, deploying a security control may require a significant amount of resources, including time, money, and personnel. Sometimes, organizations might face difficulties in implementing a control due to resource constraints or technical difficulties.


In such situations, a partially deployed security control can still offer better protection than no control at all. Even if the control is not yet fully implemented, it can still provide some level of defense against cyber threats, reducing the overall risk to the organization.


The idea of partially deployed controls can also be applied to process improvements. Implementing process improvements can help organizations to streamline their workflows, reduce waste, and improve efficiency. However, process improvements can be complex and time-consuming to implement. Partially implementing a process improvement can still offer some benefits to the organization, even if it is not yet fully optimized.


For example, if an organization is implementing a new inventory management system, it may not be feasible to implement all the features at once due to resource limitations or technical challenges. However, partially deploying the system and using its basic features can still offer some benefits, such as better tracking of inventory levels and reducing the chances of stockouts.


In conclusion, partially deploying a cybersecurity control or implementing process improvements can still provide some benefits to the organization, even if the deployment or implementation is not yet complete. It is important to recognize that partial deployment is often better than no deployment and can be a useful strategy for managing resource constraints and technical difficulties.

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