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FIRE: How Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation Hardcover – April 29, 2014
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Ward’s military career led to his expertise in high-speed, low-cost innovation, and he transposes his military principles and techniques into a marketplace-innovation system he calls FIRE (fast, inexpensive, restrained, and elegant). He explains his marketplace acronym: fast is about defining a project objective that can be satisfied on a short time line; inexpensive means delivering meaningful capabilities on a shoestring, a respected skill; restrained means self-control, tight budgets, small teams, activities focused on the short-term; and elegant values simplicity over complexity in design of organizations and processes, relying on experience and rules of thumb to solve specific problems as they arise rather than adhering to rigid rules. FIRE is an approach to innovations that focuses on outcomes rather than compliance. Ward concludes, “By placing a premium on speed, thrift, simplicity, and restraint, we can deliver first-in-class and best-in-class products without spending decades and billions.” This thought-provoking book, developed with a military perspective, offers valuable insight for those striving for innovation in their business activities. --Mary Whaley
“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.” (Success Magazine)
“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. ” (-Daniel H. Pink, author of TO SELL IS HUMAN, DRIVE, and A WHOLE NEW MIND)
“Dan’s refreshing philosophy promotes more effective defense acquisition and offers lessons for commercial products as well. His book helps to liberate good judgment…” (-Bernard Jenkin MP (Harwich and North Essex) Chairman, PASC (Public Administration Select Committee))
“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.” (-Scott Anthony)
“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.” (-Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld, Founder - Truman National Security Project)
“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.” (- MajGen Arnold Punaro, USMC (ret.), Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association and member of the Defense Business Board,)
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Dan's principles for fast, inexpensive, restrained and elegant innovation make for a great acronym but even better advice for product developers. And his storytelling makes for an entertaining read that anyone who has ever worked in government or technology will appreciate. He also backs it up with data, making this a solid manual for product developers and requirement owners everywhere.
This book should be required reading for anyone with budget or product responsibility. Enough said!