Precoil
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Precoil

5 Steps To Make Experimentation A Repeatable Process

Running an experiment to test a new product or business idea is a big deal. It takes a level of humility to write down your hypotheses, prioritize them and run even one experiment.

But after you run that experiment, you’ll need to do it again.. and again.. and again, because risk moves around as you make progress and learn.

We’ll use the business model canvas to frame our risk below.

At first, most of the risk is around the value proposition and your customer segment.

Desirability Risk

After you reduce uncertainty with those aspects of your idea, then the risk shifts over your ability to deliver.

Feasibility Risk

After that, it moves down to cost and price point that customers will pay.

Viability Risk

And that’s just one pattern I observe. Depending on your business idea, it may start with feasibility and move to desirability and then viability. There are many different patterns in which this can occur.

Whatever the pattern for you, one thing is certain, the risk will keep moving around through these three areas as long as you grow and scale the business.

That’s why it’s necessary to build your own process for experimentation through all of this in the long term. Experimentation isn’t a phase that happens only in the beginning.

Think of your journey as building up an organizational capability for experimentation.

This doesn’t happen overnight, but here are 5 steps you can take to help you make experimentation a repeatable process:

1. Weekly Planning

30–60 minutes

Identify at least one of your important and uncertain hypotheses to test for the upcoming week. Prioritize the experiments you’ll need to run in order to learn about the hypothesis. Task out the experiments you’ve selected to run.

2. Daily Standups

15 minutes

Create a daily goal you want to accomplish with your experimentation. Identify the tasks needed to achieve your goal and plan your day. Call out any blockers that would prevent you from completing experiment tasks.

3. Weekly Learning

30–60 minutes

Gather up the evidence your experiments have generated. This includes both qualitative and quantitative. Look for patterns and insights. Take the new insights you have and reshape your strategy.

4. Bi-Weekly Retrospectives

30–60 minutes

Write down what’s going well, what needs improvement and what you want to try with regards to your experimentation. Use this time to improve your overall experimentation process.

5. Monthly Stakeholder Reviews

60–90 minutes

Package up what you’ve learned into a high level summary. Include your hypotheses, the experiments you ran, evidence generated, insights gathered and recommendation on next steps. This summary is used to update stakeholders (VP’s or VC’s) and also to document over time how you’ve made progress.

These steps are an iterative process using scientific method, lean thinking and agile principles. Each of these loops feed into one another, helping you create a system for high performing teams that continuously experiment, learn and then put that learning into action.

With some patience, you can be well on your way to growing your experiments from a one time event, to a learning machine that will help you scale your business over time.

Interested in how to test your business ideas? Feel free to contact me.

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