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Minimum Viable Products

Professional Development & Learning

Event Details

Professional Development Opportunities

Location: Online

Date: July 21, 2020

Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Tuesday July 21, 2020, 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT

Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) — A Lean Way of Thinking Through Innovation as an Iterative Process

Edward Thomas, Assistant Director (External Relations), is offering a followup to his April 21 seminar on Lean Startup methods for designing and scaling innovations. This session will focus on the interaction between an innovator’s ideas, end-users and the iterative design of new devices, procedures and services that create value. In Lean Startups, we commonly develop a kind of experimental apparatus, called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), that tests our hypothesis that a proposed innovation can actually create value for an end-user. The MVP does not need to be a fully realized product, procedure or service. It only needs to deliver an outcome that its intended end users will find valuable enough to invest their own time, money or effort. This seminar will introduce attendees to time-cost-quality value chain analysis, MVP design, end-user categories and common hypothesis testing methods used to iteratively hone an idea into a real-world innovation that can sustainably create value for many people.

Much of the work of astroparticle physics is developing new/better ways to accomplish signal detections, observations, measurements, data analysis, project management and knowledge distribution. The same innovation pressure is also true for professional life outside of research (projects, products, services, procedures, etc.). Learning about MVP thinking gives us a simple heuristic for working through problems and their potential solutions at minimum risk and maximum reward.

Join the McDonald Institute for a 60-minute overview of MVPs as a Lean technique for innovation (plus time at the end for Q&A).

Presenter: Edward Thomas is the Associate Director of External Relations at the McDonald Institute. He leads partnerships, communications and business development within the Institute, the broader astroparticle physics community, academia, government, business, NGOs and the Canadian public. He has more than 20 years of experience in technology development, research administration, innovation support and business journalism.


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