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Test Your Riskiest Assumptions First

Posted in Agile, Business Strategy, Customer Experience, Customer Insights, Design Thinking, Experience Design, and Innovation

How do you know you’re making the right bets with your ideas? Which bets do your ideas hinge on? These are our riskiest assumptions. They need to be tested before you spend your valuable time and money.

With the ‘problem’ in mind, map out the customer journey to identify the riskiest assumption.

Armed with a shared view about the assumptions, go out, observe your target customers, ask questions and run your experiments to tests your hypothesis.

Whether you work for a small start-up or a large, existing organization, you must validate your riskiest assumptions as quickly and cheaply as possible so you don’t waste valuable time and resources toiling away at something that will likely never work. But, this is often harder than it sounds.

Your riskiest assumption isn’t always easy to find.

If you think through the customer’s jobs-to-be-done, pains, and gains as well their journey, you’ll find more assumptions and questions to ask: Do they want it? Do they want it now? Will they pay for it?

The first key to identifying your list of riskiest assumptions is to bring a team together to unpack the idea and brainstorm together. And, if you don’t have people on your team who have deep experience in unpacking the business model and context, invite some industry experts from your network.

Your primary focus must be on the customer. It makes sense then that the rest of the assumptions you identify will come from the customer problems you’ve found.

A little bit of time spent asking the right questions and testing assumptions can save you time and money and ensure that you are contributing to an overall better experience for your customers – and the profitability of your business.

Lokitz, Justin. How to Identify the Riskiest Assumption of Your Innovative Idea. Design a Better Business. June 21, 2016. http://designabetterbusiness.com/2016/06/21/how-to-identify-the-riskiest-assumption-of-your-innovative-idea/

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