Our process model may be called “Build-Measure-Learn” but, if you follow that sequence and jump in at the “Build” phase, you’ll be missing the mark. Instead, it’s essential to start with a planning stage to avoid overenthousiast ‘false starts’.
Your first task is to define the idea that you want to test and the metrics or info that you aim to learn. You do this by developing a hypothesis – your prediction of what will happen during the first experiment.
Your hypothesis could focus on anything from product features and customer service ideas to finding the best pricing strategies and distribution channels. You might, for example, hypothesise that “increasing the frequency of our newsletters from two to four per month will increase overall revenue.”
Next, decide what you’ll need to measure to test your hypothesis, and plan how you’ll collect your data. Interviews, surveys, website analytics and measured interactions are common methods for gathering valuable data to structure your study.
Your goal here is to create an iconic Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – the smallest possible product that allows you to test your hypothesis.
It could be a working prototype, a basic advertisement or landing page. Other MVP’s consist of a concierge service, sleek presentation slideshow, a mock-up, paper brochure, a sample dataset, a storyboard, or a video that illustrates what you aim to offer. Whatever MVP you choose, it needs to show just enough core features to attract the interest of early adopters– the people who’ll likely want to buy your product or service as soon as you make it available to them.
As you work through repeated iterations of Build-Measure-Learn, your MVP will become more complex. But your priority should be to prove the demand for your proposed product, not to build a fully functioning model that’s full of advanced features..
Measure the results that you obtained in your previous Build step. How does what actually happened compare with your hypothesis? Is there sufficient interest in your idea to continue developing it? Does the data show that you’ll be able to build a sustainable business around your product or service?
In order to speed up measuring, Eric Ries suggested conducting activities such as split tests, real-time monitoring, funnel analysis, cohort analysis and search engine marketing..
By the time you reach this stage, you’ll be equipped to make sound, evidence-based business decisions about what to do next.
There are then three ways forward:
We’ll improve your loopings based on facts and validated learnings to discipline you at implementing these learning in an iterative process.
We adhere to the Build-Measure-Learn process, which was pioneered by Eric Ries in his book, “The Lean Startup.” It is a learning and feedback loop for establishing how effective a product, service or idea is, and doing this as quickly and cheaply as possible.