Don Norman: Designing For People

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FIRE: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation. (Dan Ward)

Ward, D. (2014). FIRE: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation. New York: HarperBusiness. 

Short review: Here is the blurb I wrote for this book.

Large projects tend to fail: Software, construction, new aircraft, it doesn't matter -- they fail. Dan Ward offers a simple solution: don't do them. With the time and money allocated for one large project, do numerous small ones. Do them Fast and Inexpensive, with Restraint and Elegance: FIRE. It's a well-known principle, but it goes against the nature of organizations who wish to solve all their problems with one project. In consumer markets, it the disease I call featuritis. In industry, it's bloat. What's the alternative? FIRE. For anyone even remotely associated with large projects, this eminently sensible, highly readable book is required reading.

Here is the publishers's abstract:

Noted military technology expert Dan Ward's manifesto for creating great products and projects using the methods of rapid innovation.

Why do some programs deliver their product under cost, while others bust their budget? Why do some deliver ahead of schedule, while others experience endless delays? Which products work better--the quick and thrifty or the slow and expensive? Which situation leads to superior equipment?

With nearly two decades as an engineering officer in the U. S. Air Force, Dan Ward explored these questions during tours of duty at military research laboratories, the Air Force Institute of Technology, an intelligence agency, the Pentagon and Afghanistan. The pattern he noticed revealed that the most successful project leaders in both the public and private sectors delivered top-shelf products with a skeleton crew, a shoestring budget, and a cannonball schedule. Excessive investment of time, money, or complexity actually reduced innovation. He concluded the secret to innovation is to be fast, inexpensive, simple, and small.

FIRE on Amazon.com

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