Rapid Innovation Principles and Practices

  • Why do so many projects cost more and take longer than expected, while other manage to deliver under budget and ahead of schedule? More importantly, which approach delivers more important, innovative, impactful results: the quick and thrifty or the slow and expensive?

    In this fast-paced, story-based course Dan uses his trademark blend of pop-culture and deep engineering expertise to answer those questions. He’ll show that innovation does not have to cost so much, take so long, or be so expensive.

    Leveraging his first-hand experience as a military technologist and incorporating his extensive research into NASA missions, Dan offers humorous and practical insights into how to deliver best-in-class, world-class innovations in a fraction of the time and expense of traditional approaches.

    The course is based on Dan’s book F.I.R.E. and provides hands-on exposure to a collection of field-tested tools and techniques for reducing the cost, schedule, and complexity associated with delivering innovative solutions. Participants will come away with a better grasp of how to help their teams improve their performance by embracing speed, thrift, and simplicity.

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    In this course, participants will learn:

    • The FIRE heuristics – a collection of practical, field-tested rules of thumb. We’ll discuss their applications as well as their limitations.
    • Strategies for speed that enhance accountability and ensure products are aligned with market needs.
    • A technique for identifying and assessing their team’s values
    • How to design organizations, products, and processes with thrift in mind, solving problems with intellectual capital rather than cash.
    • How to apply restraint across the spectrum of decision-making, using small budgets, small teams, short schedules, short meetings, and short documents to produce big results.
    • The difference between an optimal failure and an epic fail (and how to fail optimally).
    • The most important question for a project leader to ask (and how to get a useful answer).


    This session can be customized for organization-specific applications and extended to a full-day workshop. It can also be combined with Dan’s Simplicity Cycle course.