How to Train your HIPPO #ACE2016

Have you noticed the impact when someone more senior in your organisation shares their opinion? Meet the HiPPO: the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. Sometimes it’s subtle and unintended. Other times it’s more direct and intentional. Either way, the HiPPO is a dangerous animal in Product Development.

When we allow the HiPPO to drive decision-making we hide critical assumptions. Value and urgency is buried. Batch size is increased. Dates are promised. Options are prematurely closed down. False constraints back us into a corner. Costs are squeezed. The chances of discovering black swans is reduced. The risk of failure increases. Indeed, the HiPPO is one of the most dangerous animals to let stomp around in Product Development.

Whilst the HiPPO likes to be in charge, they don’t want to be responsible for developing products that nobody wants. How can we help the HiPPO to help themselves?

There are a few things that we can do in order to minimise the HiPPO effect or to train our HIPPOs. In this talk we discuss 5 techniques that may help with this. If you are interested in knowing more, I recently presented at ACE2016 and you may find the video here.

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