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INSPIRED, 2nd Edition by Marty Cagan

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CHAPTER 6The Root Causes of Failed Product Efforts

Let's start by exploring the root causes of why so many product efforts fail.

I see the same basic way of working at the vast majority of companies, of every size, in every corner of the globe, and I can't help but notice that this is not close to how the best companies actually work.

Let me warn you that this discussion can be a little depressing, especially if it hits too close to home, so if that's the case, I'll ask you to hang in there with me.

Figure 6.1 describes the process that most companies still use to create products. I'll try not to editorialize yet—let me first just describe the process:

Illustration of Root Causes of Failed Product Efforts.

FIGURE 6.1 Root Causes of Failed Product Efforts

As you can see, everything starts with ideas. In most companies, they're coming from inside (executives or key stakeholders or business owners) or outside (current or prospective customers). Wherever the ideas originate, there are always a whole bunch of things that different parts of the business need us to do.

Now, most companies want to prioritize those ideas into a roadmap, and they do this for two main reasons. First, they want us to work on the most important things first, and second, they want to be able to predict when things will be ready.

To accomplish this, there is usually some form of quarterly or annual planning session in which the leaders consider the ideas and ...

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