Five steps to digital confidence, from the product experts at ITR8.
1. Map the business
You have a successful business in the bricks-and-mortar world. However, you know that the future is digital, so now it’s time to see how your business would look after a digital transformation.
We recommend using a template such as Strategyzer’s Business Model Canvas. Create two versions — one to identify how your current business is working, and a second to identify how it could work in the digital market.
2. Identify the assumptions
Make the implicit assumptions explicit.
Once you have the business mapped, it’s important to recognise that the digital world is very different to the analog world.
For example, you might assume that customers will now find you on Google, instead of walking past your shopfront. Or that communication will not always be over the phone, but perhaps with a chatbot.
Users act differently when they are in front of a screen, so various privacy and intellectual property rules will also come into play. It is always best to discuss the assumptions with your team, to arrive at a common viewpoint on these issues.
3. Assess impact and probability
We have a developed a handy tool to help with this step!
Below is the ITR8 Confidence Board, which we use to assess the impact and probability of hypotheses — assumptions that you will aim to prove true or false.
One benefit of this tool is ensuring the hypotheses are clear and accessible for the whole team. We also use a special set of poker cards with the board. This way we make sure that discussions and estimation of are fairly unbiased and the best argument is likely to win.
With the list that is generated through the estimation, you can create a tangible and logical plan to start testing.
The hypotheses in the red squares must be tested before releasing the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) into the market. These hypotheses are critical to test because they are either unlikely to hold true, or important for the product’s success.
4. Reduce uncertainty
If you are at this point, then you have mastered a very important milestone on your way to digitising your business: you have identified the biggest risks and prioritised them and you have created a roadmap that everyone from your team can relate to.
There are many ways you can proceed from here, and it depends on your project as to which is the best way. Generally spoken, we like to test hypotheses with methods that receive direct market feedback and answer questions as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Don’t be shy to show a product or service that is not polished and fully thought through. What you need is honest feedback and people are more likely to be honest if they think it is a draft by someone other than you.
Use prototyping, interviews, or fake door tests to validate your assumptions and move on quickly if you realise that your problem doesn’t exist or your solution is not perceived as valuable.
5. Build a successful business
An MVP is a testable product that provides the solution to a real problem. Try to create an MVP by building only as much as is technically required to fulfil the needs of your target group — even if it looks clunky at first.
At ITR8, we help you to get from product idea to market launch. During that process, we test product features even before spending time and money developing them. Through an iterative test-and-learn approach, we can increase the product’s success before it goes to launch, always trying to fail early and succeed faster.