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The power of a mode.

The DevFacto Innovation Framework provides freedom to explore, challenge, make, fail, question, revisit, or iterate within a certain frame.

Humans are a weird and incredible bunch. We launch ourselves at a solution based on what we did last time, or wander around imagining all of the things that could be. We often fail to appreciate what the best considerations might be at any given time. Maybe it's deadline pressure, a well-understood solution space, or excitement to get going. Sometimes we get caught in choice paralysis, or fear of doing something wrong.



It is hard to focus on the right details at the right time, but each mode will afford focus on the important facets of problem solving we experience every day.


Entering a mode might be obvious, like starting a net new project in an early phase of thought. Maybe you have defined all you need to know, and it's time to start making things. Sometimes it is harder to know when to shift between modes. It is common to struggle to make something, and slowly come to understand that what you're making is only partially solving the problem, or solving the wrong problem. But should you circle back to envisioning alone, or bring your whole team?


A mode is a powerful tool in understanding and communicating when we're not focused on the right thing at that time.

Once we know that we need to focus or shift, it also provides options within the framework which provide their own insight.

It can also be empowering to have time to solve a certain aspect of the problem at hand. Tear it apart and make a mess, knowing that we will tidy it up in the next mode. When we break down these problems and approach each chunk appropriately, the challenges become much easier to handle.

The 3 phases of a mode


To make the most of your day, or next step, be aware of what mode you're in. What is your intent, what is the next thing you need to know or do?

In that mode, what is the best action you can take? What tools, processes, or resources are available? Is it best done solo, or should you have a team?

Too often we start our work without a focused intent, or an awareness of the best outcome of our actions.

Exploring the DIF for new information or resources can help you identify the next best step in your work. What do you need to know going in? Who might be your best collaborators? What have previous teams done with similar problems?


If you understand the desired outcome and you have the tools you need, it’s time to act. Nothing should hold you or your team back.

Perhaps there are some accelerators, like an activity package, or a document template. Maybe there is a related case study that helps you to shape your expectation of the work or the outcome. Perhaps the work in this phase seems onerous, which could be a cue to break it down further.

That doesn’t mean that everything will be easy, or inside your comfort zone.

Having a solid understanding of the outcome of your current mode will help galvanize you against any perceived risk in doing the work.


Did you get what you needed?

Was the desired outcome knowledge, a valuable artifact, a tested concept, or functioning software? Does it match your intent or hypothesis?

Does this clearly pave the way for your next step?

Does the next step belong to someone else? Have you done everything you need to for a great handoff? Who else should know about this? Share share share!

Read more about the DevFacto Innovation Framework

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