Product management and project management is happening in an environment of unprecedented complexity; markets, business ecosystems, organization structures, and products themselves are all more complex than ever. A Landing Zone is a clear, common, and cohesive way to document and communicate the definition of success for what your team is working on, especially in complex circumstances.
Learn how to define, align, and focus your team on the vital few attributes required for success
- learn about the Landing Zone
- understand how to use a Landing Zone to improve decision making and communicate status
- learn about three common, effective variations
- know where to go for templates and job aids
A simple, agile, and powerful way to define and communicate the definition of success
A Landing Zone is a table that defines a region of success. The rows of the landing zone table contain the subset of attributes that directly and materially define success or failure. The columns of the table contain a range of quantified performance levels for each attribute. Landing Zones help create and maintain a clear, common, coherent success definition. They are a proven technique that has been used since the late 1990's on programs and projects of all sizes, including several with revenues in excess of $10 billion.
Content and Overview
This 30-minute course introduces the concepts, use, and benefits of Landing Zones. When you have completed it, you should be able to begin creating Landing Zones for multi-stakeholder programs and products with immediate benefits. The course includes a quiz to test comprehension, and downloadable templates and a work-aid summary.
Systems and software engineering are taking place in an environment of unprecedented complexity. What does success look like for your product or project under these complex conditions? How can you effectively define success when there isn't a simple answer?
Landing Zones are a simple but effective way to capture the definition of success for your work, especially under complex conditions. The Landing Zone is a table whose rows are the "vital few" success attributes, and whose columns contain a range of achievement levels for each attribute.
This lecture describes the fundamental concepts and properties of the Landing Zone, illustrated with an example.
What is a Landing Zone good for? How many rows should a good Landing Zone contain? Are longer Landing Zones better? What happens when things change as the work progresses? These and other questions are answered in this lecture.
Landing Zones are great for defining success, but they are not well suited to managing dynamic priorities. Teams are free to pursue whatever strategies they wish within the region of success defined by the Landing Zone.
This lecture covers how the Landing Zone guides, but does not dictate, priorities. It also addresses how Landing Zones can greatly simplify decision making for teams, so you'll know when to take a decision yourself versus having to seek permission or ratification from a higher authority.
Additional information can be added to the Landing Zone based on the needs of the team. This lecture introduces the three most common added columns: Now, Kill Switch, and Owner.
This lecture also addresses how to include functions and constraints in a Landing Zone. Most Landing Zone rows are attributes that are measured over an interval defined by the Minimum to Outstanding range. Functions and constraints don't follow that pattern, but they can be placed in a Landing Zone using an easy method taught in this lecture.
This lecture covers an example Landing Zone for a car purchase, and contains the final exercise for the course.
End-of-course quiz to test your understanding of what was presented.
This video tutorial walks you through using a Landing Zone template build with the Google Sheets application. If you are already well-versed with the Google Sheets application, feel free to skip this lecture.
A single-page work aid you can print and share that summarizes Landing Zone format, column definitions, and best practices.
nuCognitive was founded in 2016 with the mission of helping companies build successful ventures and great teams worldwide. We do this by bringing together a talented group of industry-recognized experts - coaches and consultants who have real-world experience in building successful organizations. The people of nuCognitive have each contributed to large-scale transformations with companies larger than 100K in size. Our practical experience with the adoption and use of Agile, lean, system engineering, complex adaptive systems, leadership practices, entrepreneurship, and other development methods enable us to provide help from start to finish as you transform and improve your company.
Erik Simmons is a Senior Fellow with Construx Software. He has nearly 30 years of experience as an engineer and consultant in software and systems engineering in both the public and private sector. Erik is internationally recognized for his expertise in areas such as requirements engineering, software and systems lifecycles, agile, solutions thinking, and complex adaptive systems engineering.
In his previous position at Intel Corporation, Erik was the primary owner for corporate-level methods and practices within requirements engineering and solutions thinking. He also helped develop and proliferate agile software practices, and authored a next-generation system life cycle. Erik’s requirements engineering training was attended by 20,000 employees over 17 years, even though it was not required attendance for anyone. In 2016, Erik’s requirements training was adopted by the IEEE Computer Society as its online training for members.
Prior to working at Intel, Erik was a consultant who worked on applications for clients throughout North America in high technology, healthcare, manufacturing, apparel, travel & event management, contract management, and other areas. He also held a position with the Oregon Health Division, where he authored the Oregon Trauma Registry software used as the basis of a statewide injury surveillance system.
Daniel brings more than 20 years of engineering and product development experience to nuCognitive, LLC. Prior to founding nuCognitive, he was an engineering manager, Accelerated Leadership Program Associate, and a senior product development consultant at Intel Corp. He has worked in areas as varied as product and process development, sales, marketing, strategic planning, and talent recruiting. Most recently, Daniel led and coached transformation efforts of diverse groups including hardware development, product validation, software development, and internal startups. Over the years, he has developed heuristics for successful, sustainable transformations that scale.
Daniel is a graduate of MIT’s Leaders for Global Operations program where he received an M.S. in Engineering Systems and an M.B.A. from the Sloan School of Business. He has dedicated his career to developing new products and services and bringing them to market. His current areas of focus include organizational transformations, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, solutions thinking, and complex adaptive systems.