Common Funding Problems:
- staffing lags the budget cycle by 3+ months, reducing time to work on approved projects before they're due
- mid-way through the budget, we realize there's something more pressing to work on
- it's hard to calculate ROI on discretionary spending
Incremental Funding, or budgeting just enough to solve the most valuable or most risky aspect of an issue, is a keystone habit in creating a high-accountability and high-performing organization. Incremental funding reduces scope creep, allows managers and teams to focus on what is achievable in a small amount of time, and reduces overall project risk, with very little additional overhead. For any novel product, this is the way to go; for commodity solutions, stick with what already works.
In the management cycle illustrated above, a needs analysis (see also jobs-to-be-done theory) precedes any expenditure of funds. This analysis results in a decomposition of the problem, so that multiple teams can iterate on a solution over time--and every week or two they can show progress. Showing progress allows stakeholders to re-evaluate the need and the gaps in the solution, and to evaluate whether (and how) we should continue investing in this solution.
Additionally, managers formalize process learning with regular reflection workshops (aka retrospectives). These are intended to uncover and address common or recurring problems.
Our coaches will help your managers learn how to do this type of needs analysis and reflection.