Assemble Your Own Lean Startup Team

23 Feb 2022
6 min read

Post Highlight

In his book, The Startup Way, Eric Ries describes the motto of Lean teams. A Lean team strategy may maximize productivity and results in unpredictable times, whether you're working on a real startup or attempting to construct one internally at a large corporation. However, putting together a winning team that can carry out this goal comes with both standard team-building issues and questions specific to the technique. Here are some thoughts on how to effectively construct a Lean team based on expert guidance and recent research. #TWN


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Companies, startup accelerators, and politicians have quickly adopted the lean startup methodology as one of the most prevalent and trustworthy innovations and entrepreneurship methods. Small, hands-on groups that can operate together effortlessly with a merciless emphasis on identifying a product/market fit are required for lean startups. The organizational training and expertise that let someone succeed in a large corporation or even a typical startup with a lot of financing isn’t always a suitable suit in this lean setting. In conclusion, a lean startup is not equal to an established business. The success of a company's Lean implementation is heavily impacted by its people. The same people who will operate the firm utilizing the new Lean System will determine the project's progress. It is critical to view employees as the company's most valuable asset.

Begin Small

When it comes to establishing innovation groups, Eric typically alludes to Amazon's "two-pizza team," which implies starting small and aiming for a figure that could easily be fed only with two pizzas. There are various advantages to having a closer team. For starters, small groups tend to bond more quickly, resulting in improved team communication. Second, because there are fewer decision-makers, tests may be carried out more quickly. Because it's easier to see who's doing what, there's also more responsibility.

Make Your Team Functionally Diverse

Just because the group is small doesn't mean the skill set should be as well. Cross-functionality is a trademark of Lean teams. Members should bring a range of talents and/or represent several departments within the organization. Employees from the same division frequently form teams in enterprise organizations, and once their task is "finished," the results are transferred to another department. This compartmentalized strategy is cumbersome, and the absence of diverse perspectives frequently leads to substandard results.

Create A Risk-Friendly Workplace

Finding new solutions and developing game-changing products necessitates big ideas and frequent blunders. Therefore members of Lean teams should learn to embrace risk and failure. In a typical failure-is-not-an-option atmosphere, cultivating this mindset can be difficult, and team relationships can increase the temptation to play it safe. (No one wants to make a fool of themselves in front of their coworkers.) Teams can be mentored to feel comfortable taking chances and failing with certain psychological insights and practical techniques.

Assumptions Should Be Well Defined

The idea of expressing a hypothesis for your firm, organized as a set of assumptions, then proving it out as an organizing heuristic for the startup was proposed by Eric Ries in his book "The Lean Startup." Most of the teams are familiar with the concept. However, they have all benefited from spending more time delving into the assumptions and tests used to support or disprove them. The objective of applying scientific principles to a company is simple, which is part of its allure. But doing it takes a lot of work, concentration, and dedication.

Prioritize Your Assumptions With Caution

Running a company necessitates juggling a challenging mix of haste and uncertainty. There are a plethora of options available. It takes rigorous prioritization to make sure you're doing the appropriate ones. Once you've compiled your list of assumptions, rank them in order of importance and ease of proof. The most essential and easiest to verify assumptions should be at the top. Then start at the top and work your way down. Allowing other things to distract you is not a good idea.

Always Be On The Lookout

Being a part of a startup is, above all, a learning experience. You're venturing into uncharted terrain. You'll stop learning once you quit conceiving yourself as a frontier witnessing a new area that you don't fully comprehend. It is a potential stumbling block to your development that you must carefully avoid.

Learn To Enhance Your Team

You can't take your first move without examining the team and measuring whether you're creating a new unit or aiming to improve the current one. It could entail compiling a list of assumptions or evaluating the present line of thought-in other words, how do individuals feel about the team's spirit? It may be as basic as taking a team temperature gauge—a one-to-five rating or thumbs up/thumbs down—every time you hold a team meeting. The next step is to act on the information you've gathered. Realizing why a group may be moving closer to one, for example, and thereafter working to resolve the issue. It's essential adopting the Lean Startup model of build-measure-learn to the dynamics of your team.

Make Yourself A Contributor With A Wide Range Of Experience

With relatively minimal effort, you can pick up a lot of the skills you'll need to get your lean business off the ground. Non-technical entrepreneurs (and managers) tend to bring in developers relatively soon in the development process. Bringing in developers before they have a clear idea of what they want to construct usually results in a waste of money and goodwill. By all means, bounce concepts off technical coworkers, and no, you don't need to know how to code to be successful. Make a progressive knowledge foundation for yourself.

Begin With Your Internal Talent Pool

To replace a vacuum in your team, you don't have to hire someone from outside your firm. In truth, there are numerous advantages to utilizing your internal talent pool. Even with many screening steps and assignments, determining who is worth joining a business is difficult. However, if you already have an employee-employer partnership, you already understand how well a person fits into your company's culture, work ethic, and level of devotion. Employees in a startup atmosphere, for example, are accustomed to wearing numerous hats. Since your staff has been called upon to execute duties that would have gone outside of their scope in larger businesses, a significant level of trust has indeed evolved.

Cultivate A Supportive Atmosphere

We gathered a team of hard employees versed in the abilities required to catapult the company into a new age of growth by investing in our personnel. You may boost morale by displaying commitment and support for your employees' career paths.  You can create demonstrable growth opportunities by embracing your talent pipeline, helping them further develop their skills, and creating a culture of support. Nothing compares to the feeling of accomplishment.


The Lean Startup process is based on the belief that waste can almost always be avoided after the root cause has been identified. The age-old, misguided adage that people should just work more to enhance overall productivity is part of the problem since it leads to us putting all of our efforts into the wrong places. Instead, Reis asks us to imagine a company where every employee follows the Lean Startup business model.

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