Reinforcing Success in Products and Projects

A fundamental military axiom is to reinforce success.

Reinforcing success is a strategic concept used in many areas of decision making and management. Originally a military doctrine, the term is also used in theories related to parenting, business and other fields. It is essentially a selection criterion, or a prioritizing principle. A course of action is selected from various options on the basis of previous results of similar actions. The basic idea is: if it works, keep doing it; if it doesn’t, don’t invest more in something that’s failing.

Wikipedia: Reinforcing Success

I believe businesses should apply this principle to projects, products and product features. So not surprisingly I apply this as a guiding principle in my own work as an agile programme manager.
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Foot in the Door Technique

My four year old daughter is an master social psychologist, or just a natural manipulator. Here’s an example:

Daughter: Can I go over to Lilia’s house to play?

Dad: Sure

… some time latter …

Daughter: Can I stay for a sleep over?

Dad: Um, I guess so.

My daughter doesn’t know it but she is using what social psychologists call the "foot-in-the-door" technique (Brehm & Kassin, 1993). The same technique is applicable when rolling out new software.
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