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The fist manifesto.

Talent trumps process.

Teamwork trumps paperwork.

Leadership trumps management.

Trust trumps oversight.

Fixed funding & floating requirements are better than fixed requirements & floating funding.

An optimal failure costs a little and teaches a lot. When FIST projects fail, they fail optimally.


Delivering useful capabilities is the only measure of success.


This approach is called FIST Fast, Inexpensive, Simple, Tiny.


To keep timelines short, projects must exercise restraint over budgets complexity and size.

Increases to the project's budget, complexity or size inevitably reduce its speed.


System development projects should be done by:

small teams of talented people using short schedules small budgets and mature technologies.


Short timelines help stabilize: requirements technology budgets and people.

Short timelines also foster accountability, ownership and learning.


To Implement FIST:

Minimize team size, maximize team talent.

Use schedules and budgets to constrain the design.

Insist on simplicity in organizations processes and technologies.


Complexity is a cost. Complexity reduces reliability. Simplicity scales. Complexity doesn't.

Iteration drives learning, discovery and efficiency. FIST is iterative.


FIST Principles

A project leader's influence is inversely proportional to the project's budget and schedule

Constraints foster creativity.


Incentivize and reward under-runs. Requirements must be achievable within short time horizons.

Designs must only include mature technologies.

Documents and meetings: have as many as necessary, as few as possible.


Instructions: cut along dotted lines, fold on solid lines, put pages in order and staple in middle to assemble a handy little booklet

Lt. Col. Dan Ward, USAF

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Title Annotation:fast, inexpensive, simple, tiny
Author:Ward, Dan
Publication:Defense AT & L
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Nov 1, 2010
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