Saturday, March 20, 2010

MBA: Production

SECA 5: Production The production function, in conjunction with input prices, determines input choice and cost per unit output.

Describe the nature of key production processes utilized by your organization.

We use a production process called “Scrum”, which in software development is a branch of the Agile Development philosophy.

Basically, roles are identified (Project manager, developers, business/product owners), a daily, 15-minute meeting sets the product development agenda for the day and every set period of time (weekly, bi-weekly, etc) there is an iteration planning meeting where the product is demoed for the business/product owners and a backlog of tasks for the development team is created.

The cycle repeats until the product launches, but the focus is on eliminating waste. We use a technology that allows us to “fail fast.” In the time it takes to plan a feature, we can just build a prototype of it. If the prototype is deemed a failure during testing, we can scrap it and try something else without losing any additional time.

Like those new IBM commercials, Agile Development is about doing rather than talking about doing.

Do you expect similar processes to be in use in five years? In ten years? Why?

Yes. With this process, the focus is on doing as opposed to talking about doing.

Agile development and Scrum are relatively new and will evolve and take on different names, but the nature of the Internet demands fast failure and that is one of the main benefits of Agile/Scrum.

How does your organization benchmark its performance against those of rivals?

We benchmark our performance against rivals by comparing usage of products (unique visitors, time spent on page, page views), number of products launched per year and the value of products (how much is the CPM for an ad? What does sponsorship cost?)
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