The central tenets of Lean UX bear an uncanny resemblance to those of Auftragstaktik, a military philosophy from the 19th Century that transformed the conservative Prussian Army into what would become the Germany Army, arguably the greatest fighting force of them all.
Auftragstaktik was the brainchild of Helmut von Moltke the Elder. A general in the Prussian Army in the mid-1800s, he was appalled at how rigid and centralised the army had become.
After a series of military disasters and humiliations, von Moltke assumed command of the army and set about modernising it. Many of his concepts and catchphrases will sound familiar to anybody who has read The Lean Startup or Lean UX:
* No plan survives first contact with the enemy
* Completing a mission is more valuable than following a plan
* Shared understanding is more valuable than detailed documentation
This talk takes a tour through the key concepts and ideas behind Auftragstaktik, and the impact they had in the field of battle. And it outlines five lessons that practitioners of Lean UX can learn from its predecessor.