FIRE: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation [NOOK Book]

Overview

Why do some projects deliver under budget and ahead of schedule, while others cost more and take longer than expected? More important, which products work better: the quick and thrifty or the slow and expensive?

In a story-filled blend of quirky pop culture and practical engineering insight, Dan Ward's F.I.R.E. answers those questions and more. Ward's extensive research and firsthand experience show how the world's top technologists consistently deliver best-in-class results on ...

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FIRE: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation

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Overview

Why do some projects deliver under budget and ahead of schedule, while others cost more and take longer than expected? More important, which products work better: the quick and thrifty or the slow and expensive?

In a story-filled blend of quirky pop culture and practical engineering insight, Dan Ward's F.I.R.E. answers those questions and more. Ward's extensive research and firsthand experience show how the world's top technologists consistently deliver best-in-class results on shoestring budgets and cannonball schedules, and using skeleton crews.

This remarkable book will make you laugh, make you think, and equip you to leverage the power of constraints. Discover the secrets of F.I.R.E. and learn how to:

Build strategies for speed that enhance accountability and ensure your products are well aligned with the market's needs.

Design your organizations, products, and processes with thrift in mind, solving problems with intellectual capital, not financial capital.

Unleash the power of small budgets and small teams, using short schedules, short meetings, and short documents.

Streamline your designs and cut through unnecessary, unproductive layers of bureaucracy.

But this is not just a book about how to win. With unflinching candor, Ward shows how the F.I.R.E. method, even when followed wisely and well, can result in a flop. Taking a deep look at several negative outcomes, he shows how to make failures optimal rather than epic.

F.I.R.E. provides strategic concepts for leaders, decision-making principles for managers, and practical tools for people working on anything from spacecraft and fighter jets to websites and children's toys. Technology professionals and curious amateurs alike will come away with a deeper understanding of effective product design. Plus, there's a funny story about a dishwasher that just may change the way you buy major appliances.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/20/2014
Lt. Col. Ward, an engineering officer in the U.S. air force and blogger, spins a full-length book out of an overly simple concept. His first process was “FIST” (Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny), created to develop military gear. “FIRE” (Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, Elegant) was developed for civilian use. According to Ward, the most successful leaders from both the military and civilian worlds do best with the least: small teams, a tiny budget, and hell-bent-for-leather deadlines. Spending less time and money is the best way to ensure greatness and innovation, he suggests. Efficiency for its own sake is not the goal; instead, readers should design the best and most creative products possible. Ward offers examples from engineering, the military, and NASA, among others, to model necessary speed, handling, and risk assessment, avoiding unnecessary oversight and meetings, and creating better, simpler presentations and information dissemination. His suggestions on letting users be beta testers, allowing for a quick and short-cycle development process, and avoiding unnecessary features are solid, but ultimately Ward falls on the wrong side of the line between high-concept strategy and vague storytelling. Despite an admirable proposition and some lively writing, there’s not enough here to prop up an entire book. 7 b&w illus. Agent: Sandy Dijkstra, the Sandy Dijkstra Literary Agency. (May)
Success Magazine
“F.I.R.E. will appeal to project managers, space enthusiasts, military and tech buff s, and anyone who’s ever hired a plumber or general contractor.”
-Daniel H. Pink
“This is no ordinary book about product development. Sure, it draws on the wisdom of great philosophers like John Cleese, Inigo Montoya, and Tom & Jerry. But it also makes a compelling case that none of us can design anything without revealing our values. ”
-Bernard Jenkin MP (Harwich and North Essex) Chairman
“Dan’s refreshing philosophy promotes more effective defense acquisition and offers lessons for commercial products as well. His book helps to liberate good judgment…”
-Scott Anthony
“Ward blends a maestro’s range of intriguing stories with intensely practical guidance. Don’t let the references to Mr. Bean, Quantum Leap, and Firefly fool you. FIRE is a deep and powerful contribution to the innovation literature.”
-Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld
“Dan Ward’s FIRE is a minor miracle: a fast, fun, _funny_ read on running procurement and technical processes. It is packed with insight, cutting through common wisdom to deliver rules of thumb that should be a must read for any project manager.”
- MajGen Arnold Punaro
“For decades we have paid more and more for defense technology and gotten less and less in return. Dan Ward’s FIRE approach establishes common sense principles with great promise-if we will only apply them.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062301918
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 655,049
  • File size: 380 KB

Meet the Author

Dan Ward is a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force with three engineering degrees and two decades of experience researching, developing, and fielding military equipment. His previous assignments include the Air Force Research Lab, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, and International Security Assistance Force Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2012 he received the Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.

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