Top Risk Now


High-stakes/high-risk projects have many killer risks

Max your ROI - know and create compelling - while mitigating your biggest risks before you make bigger bets 


Sync concept value, design and customer development 

Your challenge  

Maximize the value of your project, mitigate your biggest risks 

Creating new offerings is fraught with many risks as there are many ways a project could flounder.  And, whether hatched within an Enterprise or funded by Angels or VC's, in the end, most new projects do fail, at a rate of over 90%.


​When you launch a new offering it is very hard to know and measure why your big bet lands with a "thud". 

  • ​Does it flounder because of branding, naming, pricing, or packaging?

  • Does it not perform - well enough? 

  • Does it have a flawed value prop? 

  • Do the users have a hard time using it - to realize the value? 


​Why do you make even bigger bets - before you learn any of this?  


On their own, Agile or Lean learning methodologies are not enough:  just going quicker, alone, does not clarify your hypothesis or why a project flounders.  

Don’t just blindly go faster, making yet bigger and bigger bets. 


Manage your project, your investment, as a learning effort that is precisely focused on reducing your projects' killer risks, in sequence.  Ramp up your project as you mitigate your biggest risk, learning the most for the least investment, before you next big bet 



    NOT to just go fast.

    Use Agile and Lean as they were designed -  to explore an unknown

    Give sprints the job of mitigating your killer risks.  


       Understand your project risk profile - across the 4 killer risk types.


    Identify your top risk NOW.


    Focus your Agile and Lean sprints on mitigating that top risk type.

    One at a time 



    Mitigate your current top risk type,

    Using the best tools you have


    to the point that it is no longer the top risk.....


    Satisfice the solution.  

    Do NOT eliminate the risk. 

    do NOT optimize 


    Then refocus on the "new" top risk

    At each sprint, adjust and pivot your vision - before you make the next big bet - taking on the next - now top - risk type. 


4 steps from concept to compelling release



Maximize your return on investment by structuring your project to ramp up as you mitigate your project's killer risks. 

Use the learning models like Agile and Lean as they were intended - to learn the most you can for the least investment. 

By focusing sprints on your top risk, one at a time, you can learn, adapt and pivot quickly - before your next, bigger bets.  

Emulate serial breakthrough innovators  

This approach to successful Innovation Management was borne from 4 years of extensive research – 100’s of interviews and analyzing 400,00 data points from 3,800 high-risk, high-stakes projects. 


The key findings: the successful projects driven by Gateway Adopters all had amazingly similar characteristics – that were unique to this group.  These characteristics are now manifest in the First Risk First decision model. 

Use the same best practices that Gateway Adopters use to manage their high-risk project and disrupt their own markets - maturing, proving new concepts that the mass-market follows.    

  • Use a learning mindset

    Use these popular learning models as they were envisioned at the dawn of western civilization - targeting precise learning – for an aspect of your new offering - in a high-risk situation with lots of unknowns. 


    Create a vision and the precise sporting hypothesis that span the biggest unknowns

    a sprint may not be code - the hypothesis may be captured in some other firm to get test feedback. 

  • Know your risks

    To lead the market - always take some risk.  The most common new projects  have a combination of these following 4 Mutually Exclusive Completely Exhaustive (MECE) killer project execution risk types:





    The profile of these risks changes with every project, depending on the growth strategy.  Choose your strategy, know your risks 

  • Focus on the top risks - only.

    Give Agile and Lean Sprints a mission.  


    Only one mission, on ONE risk type, at a time.

    Identify your top risk (type) NOW - and focus your Agile and Lean sprints on mitigating -testing- only that risk type.

    The object to test your hypothesis may NOT involve code.  It may be simple value prop statements, design thinking or key technical issues, the test often does not involve code.

  • Satisfice and sequence across the 4 risks types


    To maximize your impact- and project ROI - reduce and mitigate your top risk types, in sequence.  Reduce a risk (type) to the point it is no longer the top risk - then STOP.  Do NOT eliminate the risk.

    Satisfice the insights. 


    Get the greater return on your efforts by acting on your learning, adjusting and pivoting your vision,  And then refocusing on what is now the highest risk (type).  Also, use these tests, these market engagements to start customer development. 


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